This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
DEMONSTRATORS gathered outside the Uber headquarters in London today to protest at the gig-economy taxi firm’s dismissal of more than 200 drivers and couriers this year.
Members and supporters of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) demanded the reinstatement of unfairly sacked colleagues and a transparent termination process that incorporates workers’ basic rights to a hearing, union representation and to appeal against decisions.
The union also raised concerns over the disproportionate impact of automated ID checks on black, Asian and minority ethnic workers, many of whom have reported being ditched after years of service to the firm because its app failed to recognise their faces.
Similar software used by Uber in 2018 was revealed to have a failure rate of 20.8 per cent for darker-skinned female faces compared with no failures for white men.
George Ibekwe, who was sacked following a customer complaint, said: “I wasn’t given an explanation or the chance to respond to the complaint that led to my ‘deactivation.’
“I’m a professional driver, and I do not believe this complaint was a fair reflection of the reality of the dedicated work that I do.
“When I was deactivated, it made me go into a panic and then depression because I suddenly felt completely precarious.
“I have debts to clear, a family to look after and a car-finance deal to pay for, and my livelihood has been taken away.
“My despair has spread throughout my family. Uber cannot continue to treat us drivers in this way.”
Labour MP Ian Byrne, who tabled an early day motion against unfair “deactivations,” said: “Companies such as Uber, Deliveroo, Bolt and Stuart have made firing drivers and couriers into a daily routine.
“It is shameful that hundreds of key workers have lost their livelihoods with no notice and no fair process over the last year, driving workers and their families into poverty.
“Uber and the others must clean up their act and, as a country, we need far stronger protections in place to make it impossible for gig-economy companies to get away with treating their workers as disposable.”
IWGB president Alex Marshall vowed that the union would keep fighting until the drivers are reinstated and a fair system is implemented.
Uber has been approached for comment.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.