Last week, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers must be treated as workers rather than self-employed. The decision entitles drivers to the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay, with wider implications across the deregulated gig economy.
Caroline Russell, Green London Assembly member and list candidate in the upcoming Assembly elections, has been a long-time vocal supporter of workers’ rights for Uber drivers. In 2017 Caroline joined United Private Hire Drivers and Independent Workers Union of Great Britain to show Green support for people in precarious employment.
She commented at the time that ‘We cannot tolerate degraded working conditions that strip people of basic rights like a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay and occupational safety.
I’ve met with many Uber drivers who have told me about the long hours they work. Tired drivers shouldn’t feel they have no choice but to keep working to make ends meet.
The “gig economy” doesn’t work for people who need fulltime, steady employment and security.’
Her efforts resulted in the Assembly agreeing to her motion asking the Mayor to lobby government for powers to make workers’ rights a condition of all future private hire operator licenses.
In response to the latest ruling, Caroline said: ‘This ruling is historic and will change the lives of some of our most precarious workers. But we still need to go further. Let’s keep pushing for a real living wage, paid holiday and sick pay. It’s what all workers deserve.’