De­liv­eroo riders lose UK bar­gain­ing case

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS -

A trade union lost a UK court bid for the right to lobby De­liv­eroo over pay and con­di­tions on be­half of the food-de­liv­ery ser­vice’s riders, in a rare set­back for work­ers in the so-called gig econ­omy.

The In­de­pen­dent Work­ers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) failed yes­ter­day at the High Court in its bid for per­mis­sion to lobby on be­half of De­liv­eroo riders in north Lon­don, over pay, hours and hol­i­days. The union will ap­peal, it said in a state­ment.

British courts have pre­vi­ously found in favour of em­ploy­ment rights for those in the gig econ­omy. The “judg­ment is a ter­ri­ble one, not just in terms of what it means for low-paid De­liv­eroo riders, but also in terms of un­der­stand­ing the Eu­ro­pean Con­ven­tion on Hu­man Rights,” Ja­son Moyer-Lee, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the IWGB, said.

Yes­ter­day’s de­ci­sion comes from an ap­peal of a Novem­ber 2017 rul­ing by the Cen­tral Ar­bi­tra­tion Com­mit­tee, the UK body that over­sees trade union recog­ni­tion. The panel found that the riders couldn’t be recog­nised for col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing be­cause they weren’t classed as “work­ers”. The union is try­ing to over­turn that de­ci­sion.

Be­cause De­liv­eroo is gen­uinely will­ing to let riders pass jobs to other peo­ple to do on their be­half, the riders can’t be classed as work­ers, the CAC found in its 2017 de­ci­sion. The union said not al­low­ing col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing breached riders’ hu­man rights.

The case comes as Uber fights a sep­a­rate Lon­don law­suit about whether its driv­ers are self-em­ployed.

– Bloomberg

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