Uber goes to court to de­fend its busi­ness model

The Gulf Today - - WORLD -

LON­DON: Uber heads to a Bri­tish court on Tues­day to de­fend its busi­ness model of treat­ing driv­ers as self-em­ployed, en­ti­tling them to few rights in law, in the lat­est stage of a long-running bat­tle at the taxi app.

The Sil­i­con Val­ley-based com­pany, which could be val­ued at $120 bil­lion in A Forth­com­ing lota­tion, HAS FACED LE­GAL ac­tion, protests, reg­u­la­tor crack­downs and li­cence losses around the world as it chal­lenges ex­ist­ing com­peti­tors and rapidly expands.

In2016,twobri­tish­driverssuc­cess­fully ar­gued at a tri­bunal that Uber ex­erted sig­ni­icant Con­trol over them to pro­vide an on-de­mand taxi ser­vice and that they should be given work­ers’ rights, which in­clude re­ceiv­ing the min­i­mum wage.

Anem­ploy­men­tap­peal­tri­bunalupheld that de­ci­sion last year prompt­ing Uber to go to the Court of Ap­peal, with a two-day hear­ing due to be­gin on Tues­day.

Unions ar­gue that the gig econ­omy — where peo­ple of­ten work for var­i­ous Em­ploy­ers At THE same time with­out ixed con­tracts — is ex­ploita­tive, whilst Uber says its driv­ers en­joy the terms of their work and on av­er­age earn much more than the min­i­mum wage.

“We will do ev­ery­thing that we can to pre­serve that lex­i­bil­ity AND pre­serve that power for our driver part­ners be­cause ev­ery sin­gle one that I’ve talked to says that they ab­so­lutely trea­sure it,” CEO Dara Khos­row­shahi said last week in Lon­don.

In Bri­tain, the self-em­ployed are en­ti­tled to only ba­sic pro­tec­tions such as health and safety but work­ers re­ceive Beneits such As THE min­i­mum WAGE, PAID hol­i­days and rest breaks. Uber has in­tro­DUCED A num­ber of Beneits For Driv­ers.

Co-claimant in the case and chair of the driv­ers’ branch of The In­de­pen­dent Work­ers Union of Great Bri­tain James Far­rar crit­i­cised the taxi app for con­tin­u­ing to op­pose the orig­i­nal tri­bunal de­ci­sion.

“It’s two years since we beat Uber at the Em­ploy­ment Tri­bunal, yet mini­cab driv­ers all over the UK are still wait­ing for jus­tice, while Uber ex­hausts end­less ap­peals,” he said.

RIGHTS At irms such As UBER, Fel­low taxi ser­vice Ad­di­son Lee and food courier De­liv­eroo have risen up the po­lit­i­cal agenda in Bri­tain as more peo­ple work For Com­pa­nies with­out ixed Hours or A guar­an­teed in­come.

A march backed by sev­eral trade unions and involving clean­ers, re­cep­tion­Ists AND se­cu­rity ofi­cers Is DUE to take place on Tues­day.

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May launched a re­view into work­ing prac­tices but her ad­min­is­tra­tion has yet to pro­vide a re­sponse after a con­sul­ta­tion closed over the sum­mer.

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