Uber drivers in the UK plan to take to the streets this week in protest against the company over the Uber Files revelations.
The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU), which has been a regular critic of Uber, is calling on Uber drivers to log out of the app for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest against the company’s operations and employment structure for drivers in the UK. It plans to protest outside of the company’s UK headquarters in London.
Uber was thrust back into the spotlight the last week following the Uber Files, a cache of documents leaked by a former lobbyist for the ride-hailing company, that outlined its lobbying tactics and its close relationships with politicians.
According to ADCU, Uber has had “undue political influence” and it is calling for greater checks and balances on lobbying. The organization is also calling for the resignation of executive Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty for comments made in the leaked communications.
Specifically in the UK, the ADCU claimed that Uber is still not fully complying with a Supreme Court ruling that dictates drivers are entitled to a minimum wage and said drivers’ waiting times between fares are not properly compensated.
“Uber’s intense political influencing continues apace while the government yet again delays long promised employment legislation to curb excesses of the gig economy,” James Farrar, ADCU general secretary, said.
“Uber has even gone a brazen step further beyond run of the mill lobbying to even hire elected officials to senior management roles in the company. Because nothing has changed, we have no choice but to strike and take to the streets. We ask the public to support us, not just for our sake, but to stand against the corrosive effect Uber has on our democracy, the rule of law and the integrity of our regulatory bodies.”
In response, an Uber spokesperson said the “ADCU represents a tiny proportion of active drivers on Uber.”
Since the Supreme Court ruling in February 2021, Uber has recognized one union for drivers in the UK, the GMB Union.
“For over a year now, GMB Union has served as the voice of drivers in the UK following our historic recognition agreement which helped secure new worker protections including holiday pay and access to a pension plan,” the spokesperson said.
“With demand up following the pandemic, Uber drivers are earning more than ever – in the first quarter of 2022, they earned on average £29.72ph, including holiday pay, when actively engaged on the app. The combination of higher earnings, new protections such as holiday pay and a pension and trade union recognition in the UK has led to more than 10,000 new drivers signing up with Uber in recent months.”