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Uber drivers in UK stage strike over company's 'unfair deactivations'

In 2016, Uber settled class action lawsuits in the U.S. by paying up to $100 million to its drivers and agreeing to implement a formal driver deactivation policy, among other concessions. However, the ride-hailing company continues to face a similar issue in the UK, where Uber drivers have staged a 24-hour strike against it as they demand sweeping changes from the service.

Drivers in London, Birmingham, and Nottingham are calling on Uber to put an end to its deactivations, raise the fares to £2 per mile, reduce the commissions they pay to Uber by 10%, and grant them the employee status based on the Employment and Employment Appeal Tribunals’ verdict. That means Uber drivers will then be entitled to certain employee rights including paid holidays and a minimum wage. At present, Uber fares remain at £1.25 ($1.63) for each mile inside London and drivers pay 25% of their earnings to Uber.

The United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) division of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) organized the demonstrations held outside Uber’s offices in those cities. As part of the strikes, the IWGB asked the public to avoid using Uber's app during the strike in support of the action.

James Farrar, chair of the UPHD branch, said:

“After years of watching take-home pay plummet and management bullying of workers on the rise, workers have been left with no choice but to take strike action."

Uber responded:

We are always looking to make improvements to ensure drivers have the best possible experience and can make the most of their time driving on the app. That’s why over the last few months we’ve introduced dozens of new features, including sickness, injury, maternity and paternity protections.

A court hearing on the employment rights case against Uber is scheduled on October 30 and 31.

Source: Employee Benefits

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