The App Drivers and Delivery Companies Union (ADCU), formed by the original claimants of Uber, Aslam and Farar, is also planning to fight Uber in the Supreme Court as it tries. Validate its business model in London, In a move they claim would undermine the Supreme Court ruling and allow Uber to avoid a billions of pounds in tax bill.
It would be hard to believe that if Uber had won the Supreme Court case, that agreement would have ever happened, says Matthew Taylor, CEO of the Royal Society of Art and author of Taylor’s Journal of Modern Business Practices. “Let’s be happy about that, but we’re realistic about the fact that had it not been for the work of the drivers, the unions, we wouldn’t have reached this point.”
Part of Uber’s motivation for the deal might just be a matter of optics, Taylor says. “Uber is a big company that cares about its reputation and works in the public eye. There is likely to be increasing pressure on other companies that also care about their reputation and have a high position to do things.”
For now, says Susanna Streeter, senior investment and market analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, the gig economy bastion stands largely firmly against repeated attacks. It predicts that there will be new concessions, “not just because of public opinion but because more institutional investors are focusing more attention on environmental, social, and governance issues, with workers’ rights increasingly highlighted.”
But Uber’s deal with GMB could distract from further needed changes. The Abu Dhabi University Association soon sent its opposition to engaging with the company in a manner similar to GMB, citing Uber’s interpretation of workers’ rights as the main sticking point.
Overall, this is a step in the right direction, but there are significant obstacles in the way of ADU reaching a similar agreement. For us, compliance with the statutory minimum should be the starting point for any union agreement with Uber.
They said there were reasons to be “cautious” about this agreement. They cited concerns that the drivers represented by the GMB might receive “preferential treatment” if they were kicked off the platform. We believe any such arrangement would be illegal. We will continue to defend our members and hold Uber accountable for all unfair dismissals and any negative licensing action that arises as a result. “
“We communicate with Uber all the time,” says Farrar. “We never asked for a placement agreement or even a meeting to discuss the matter because we would not negotiate with any employer to obtain legal rights.”
But without legislation from the government, there is no pressure on other companies just to change workers’ status – it would be easy for them to amend their employment contracts to try to avoid the same legal challenges as Uber, Taylor says. Instead of relying on the courts to do all the work, he says, the government needs to pass its employment law.
In the five years since he wrote his original report on work practices for the government, Taylor says his thinking has changed regarding the employment situation classification to better reflect the reality of the now gig economy. Instead of three cases of employee, worker, and self-employed contractor, there should only be two situations: an employee or an independent employer, consistent with other countries in Europe and the United States.
But the government has yet to implement any recommendations from his original report, which he says points to a troubling “lack of urgency”. This, however, could soon change. “There is a feeling that the courts have done that [Supreme Court ruling] It is less dangerous politically, and they can do it [reform] Now that there will be no reaction from entrepreneurs or investors because all they do is put what the courts decide already in law. “