Tag Archives: UBER

Uber drivers’ entitled to worker’s right – Top British Court rules.

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Uber insisted that the drivers were self-employed since they choose their own hours and place of work, and often find passengers through rival apps.

Britain’s top court on Friday ruled that ride-hailing giant Uber’s drivers are entitled to workers’ rights, in a judgement with huge implications for the “gig economy”.

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The Supreme Court ruling that the drivers were employees followed a years-long legal battle with the Silicon Valley taxi and delivery company.

“This has been a gruelling four-year legal battle for our members — but it’s ended in a historic win,” said Mick Rix, from the GMB trade union.

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“The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of three previous courts, backing up what GMB has said all along; Uber drivers are workers and entitled to breaks, holiday pay and minimum wage,” he added.

Uber said it respected the court ruling.

Lower courts ruled in 2016, 2017 and 2018 in favour of a group of 20 Uber drivers who argue they were entitled to employee status given the length of time they had been working through the Uber app, and the way that the company oversaw their work.

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Uber insisted that the drivers were self-employed since they choose their own hours and place of work, and often find passengers through rival apps.

The complainants can now ask an employment tribunal for compensation, and it could trigger further-reaching changes affecting all ride-hailing drivers.

“GMB will now consult with our Uber driver members over their forthcoming compensation claim,” said Rix.

The ruling could equally affect other online platforms behind the so-called gig economy in Britain — people doing short-term work without formal contracts, or working without guaranteed hours.

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Couriers for the Deliveroo food app are currently fighting in the Court of Appeal in London for the right to collective bargaining.

Uber claimed that it has changed the way it works since the legal action began.

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Drivers can now choose when and where they drive and can also access free health insurance as well as compensation for parental leave, it said.

Joint fund
Ahead of the court ruling, Uber vowed to increase protection for drivers while keeping them self-employed.

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi on Monday presented a series of promises to European governments and trade unions.

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He said the aim was to offer a transparent and fair pay structure, and more benefits to drivers.

Uber is calling for companies in the sector to form a joint fund that would allow drivers who work for different apps to be able to access protections and benefits such as paid holidays.

Uber plans to replicate in Europe proposals it first made in California, after a court in the US state ordered the platform to classify its tens of thousands of drivers as employees.

But voters in November then backed Proposition 22, a measure designed by Uber and other gig companies that would mean drivers remained independent contractors while receiving some benefits.

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Friday’s decision is not expected to affect Uber’s right to operate in London, which has been subject to a separate dispute.

The platform last September regained the right in London for 18 months, after a court overruled a decision by city authorities to suspend its licence due to concerns over passenger security.

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#Newsworthy

Drivers as Employees’ law could drop operations in California – Uber Chief says

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Being forced to classify drivers as employees could temporarily idle Uber operations in its home state of California, the ride-sharing firm’s chief said Wednesday.

The comments from Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi to MSNBC come after a court gave Uber and rival Lyft until the middle of next week to reclassify drivers as employees instead of contract workers in compliance with a new state law.

“If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly,” Khosrowshahi said in the MSNBC interview.

“We’ll have to essentially shut down Uber until November when the voters decide.”

Uber and Lyft are backing a referendum in the state to overturn the law, while pledging to provide benefits for a social safety net that would keep gig workers independent

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 22, 2017 A woman poses holding a smartphone showing the App for ride-sharing cab service Uber in London. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

The order came Monday when a judge granted a restraining order in a lawsuit filed by California attorney general Xavier Becerra and three cities including San Francisco, where Lyft and Uber are based.

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The suit calls on Lyft and Uber to comply with a state law that went into effect at the start of this year that requires “gig workers” such as smartphone-summoned ride service drivers to be classified as employees, eligible for unemployment, medical and other benefits.

Uber and Lyft expect to appeal the decision, which could buy them more time.

A backup plan for Uber would be to pause operations in California, eventually restarting with “a much smaller service, much higher prices” and probably focused in the center of cities or in suburbs,” according to Khosrowshahi.

The rideshare rivals have maintained that most of their drivers want to remain independent even if they also are looking for benefits.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Uber loss hits $1.8BN in Q2

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Uber on Thursday reported a $1.8 billion loss in the recently ended quarter as the pandemic caused its shared-ride business revenue to plunge.

Overall revenues skidded 29 percent from a year ago to $2.2 billion, as gains from delivery failed to offset a massive 75 percent drop in its ride-hailing bookings, San Francisco-based Uber said.

Uber shares dropped more than four percent in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

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“Our team continues to move at Uber speed to respond to the pandemic’s impact on our communities and on our business, leading our industry forward with new products and safety technologies, and harnessing the strong tailwinds driving exceptional growth in delivery,” chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said.

“We are fortunate to have both a global footprint and such a natural hedge across our two core segments: as some people stay closer to home, more people are ordering from Uber Eats than ever before.”

Uber’s global ride-hailing operations have been hit hard during the coronavirus lockdowns, with bookings down 75 percent and revenue declining 67 percent.

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The delivery operations under Uber Eats meanwhile saw revenues more than double to $1.2 billion — and overtake rideshare revenue in the three months ending in June.

Uber has made other changes in recent months, sealing a deal for the Postmates delivery service in the US while divesting its Jump scooter and bike-sharing unit.

It has also quit some makers including Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Honduras, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Peru, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Chief financial officer Nelson Chai said the company was on track to achieve profitability, on an adjusted basis excluding debt and other costs, by the end of 2021.


#Newsworthy…

Driver wage theft: California sues Lyft, Uber

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California has filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft by misclassifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, the Labor Commissioner’s Office said Wednesday.

Classifying their drivers as independent contractors “has deprived these workers of a host of legal protections in violation of California labor law,” the office said in a statement.

Under a California law that came into effect on January 1, workers are considered employees unless they are free from the company’s control and perform work outside its usual line of business.

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The law challenges the business model of the San Francisco-based rideshare platforms and others which depend on workers taking on “gigs” as independent contractors.

California’s lawsuits seek to recover amounts owed to all Uber and Lyft drivers, including nearly 5,000 drivers who have filed claims for owed wages, the Labor Commissioner’s Office said.

“The Uber and business model rests on the misclassification of drivers as independent contractors,” California labor commissioner Lilia García-Brower said.

“This leaves workers without protections such as paid sick leave and reimbursement of drivers’ expenses, as well as overtime and minimum wages.”

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Uber and Lyft each have around 100,000 drivers, the Labor Commissioner’s Office said.

Uber has long argued it is merely a platform linking self-employed drivers with riders.

“The vast majority of California drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under state law,” Uber spokesman Davis White said in a statement quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

In this file photo taken on April 16, 2020, a protestor displays a sign as Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the Transport Workers Union of America prepare to conduct a caravan protest outside the California Labor Commissioners office amidst the coronavirus pandemic in Los Angeles, California. MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

“When 3 million Californians are without a job, our leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry.”

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Uber’s core ride-sharing operations have been hit hard by the global pandemic. The firm is due to announce its second-quarter results on Thursday.

Uber and Lyft have faced several legal challenges over their business models.

In May, California sued both firms alleging they violated a state law by classifying drivers as contractors instead of employees.

The new lawsuits go further by claiming recovery of unpaid wages, penalties and damages for drivers.

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DoorDash, a food delivery platform, is also being sued by San Francisco for illegally classifying workers as contractors.

California’s state court is expected to rule Thursday on a preliminary injunction compelling Uber and Lyft to reclassify drivers as employees.

Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are backing a ballot initiative in November’s election which would classify rideshare drivers and other gig-economy workers as independent contractors.

“We believe the courts should let the voters decide,” Lyft spokeswoman Julie Wood told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media)


#Newsworthy…

Lagos govt denies demanding operational fees from Uber drivers


Uber drivers protest in front of the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Services office in Ojodu, Lagos.

Lagos State government has denied claims that it was demanding for N110,000 operational licence fees from Uber drivers.


Commissioner of transportation Frederic Oladeinde said the claim is “totally untrue, unsubstantiated, unreasonable and a ploy to win public sympathy.”

“Uber operators are out to make mischief as they would not tell the public that their members whose vehicles were apprehended contravened one law or the other,” Oladeinde added.


This comes days after Uber drivers and drivers of other popular ride-hailing companies marched on the office of the Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) to protest the alleged recent “crackdown” on their operation.

But two officials of the VIS who spoke with The Guardian last week said the recent they were enforcing of already existing laws guiding the operations of professional drivers in the state.


Uber drivers, he said, must have hackney permits since they use their vehicles for commercial purposes. He also said Uber has also not paid an operator license fee to the state government.

“You need to have what we call operator license, which Uber was supposed to pay to the government,” the official said in a telephone conversation with an Uber driver. The Guardian has a record of that phone conversation.


“Uber has no operator license,” the VIS officer said.

A claim that is contrary to the commissioner’s.


Oladeinde rather said the VIS is only facilitating compliance with the “Road Traffic Laws by ensuring motorists possess the stipulated vehicle documents, such as Roadworthiness, Vehicle Licence, Drivers Licence, Insurance Certificate, Hackney Permit and the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) card for all categories of commercial commuter vehicles.”

He said almost 1,000 vehicles have been impounded for various offences across the state in the last three weeks.

“Twenty Uber vehicles are among those impounded,” he said.

Moses Ndubuisi, a Uber driver, said he was asked to pay N60,000 into the government’s account before his car was released.


#Newsworthy…

Abuja: Man killed Uber driver – to be killed by hanging


An FCT high court has sentenced one Obinna Echanu to death by hanging for killing an Uber driver.

Obinna and one Everly Nnerun, were arraigned before the court for allegedly conspiring to kill the Uber driver, Edwin Ali, on December 26th, 2016 along the Abuja airport road.


Echanu and Nnerun were charged with five counts which include armed robbery, conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and culpable homicide.

Delivering judgment on the murder case filed against them by the police, the presiding judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke discharged and acquitted Nnerun for lack of evidence by the prosecutor, which is the Nigerian Police, but convicted Echanu and sentenced him to death by hanging as his counsel failed to prove his innocence before the court.


#Newsworthy ..

FAAN Nays Banning Uber, Bolt, Others From Lagos Airport.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN has dissmised reports it has banned car hailing apps from driving into any of the airports across the country.

FAAN denies banning Uber, Bolt and others from Lagos airport

There were reports online recently that the agency had banned Uber, Bolt and other car hailing apps from plying roads within airports. The claim was backed up by the photo above showing some men mounting a signpost with the notice of the ban.

FAAN in a statement released and signed by its General Manager Corportae Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, said the signpost being shared online did not emanate from its office. The agency said Nigerians are free to use whatever mode of transportation they feel like using to transport themselves to the airport.

Read the statement below

FAAN denies banning Uber, Bolt and others from Lagos airport

#Newsworthy…