Salford Uber drivers have been left unsure and without reassurance about their job situation after a landmark UK appeal case.
Last week the UK supreme court ruled that ride-sharing company Uber must class its drivers as “workers” and not “partners” or “independent contractors”.
One Salford driver reacted to the news by saying they felt “exploited” as the company maintain that no drivers other than the original pursuers of the court case will be entitled to the compensation and workers’ rights afforded by the reclassification as “workers”
The ruling comes after a six-justice court denied Uber’s previous appeal.
The historic ruling could mean that Uber will eventually be required to pay its workers compensation packages potentially totalling £100m to its 10,000 plus driver base and could change the work ethic and situation for millions of workers in the gig economy.
Uber’s general manager, Jamie Heywood for north and east Europe said, “We respect the court’s decision which focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016. Since then, we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers every step of the way. These include giving even more control over how they earn and providing new protections like free insurance in case of sickness or injury.
The case was originally started by James Farrar, Yaseen Aslam and 23 other Uber drivers. This has led to Uber claiming that only those original 25 people would be classed as workers, in an attempt to discourage other drivers from seeking the same compensation.
This has led to many Uber drivers being unsure of their position within the company and wondering if they too are entitled to the financial pay-out.
While some uber drivers may not be willing or motivated to make the difference for themselves, many drivers are taking the handbrake off and going full throttle for their workers’ rights.
Over 9,000 people have contacted law firm Keller Lenkner, who are representing more than 8,000 drivers with more on the way, the firm believes that if they got all of these drives the same decision as the original 25, Uber could be forced to pay up to £80 million.