Showing that gig workers are classified as employees could effectively shut down Uber’s business: “These rules mean we have to withdraw from hundreds of European cities.”
An Uber executive has issued a strong “warning” in the British media that a proposal from Brussels to classify gig workers as actual employees could hamper the company’s activities across the European Union. The Financial Times, among others, quoted Annabelle Diaz, Uber’s head of European mobility, as saying that the plans could cause the giant to halt its ride-hailing service in “hundreds” of European cities and increase prices by up to 40%. percent in others.
Through this initiative, Uber launches its (new) attack against the EU Platform Directive, which is being hotly debated in Brussels. This media attack will probably not be limited to the British Isles.
“If Brussels forces Uber to reclassify drivers and couriers across the EU, we can expect job cuts of 50 to 70 percent,” Diaz said. It warned that this would also increase waiting times for users trying to board a car.
Diaz called on lawmakers participating in the European Union discussions on platform work directives to adopt rules that protect the flexibility of freelancers. In her very one-sided assessment of the draft platform directive, Díaz warned, quite incorrectly, that if it came into force, drivers and couriers would have to apply for future vacancies and, if available, would have to attend at fixed places at certain times and in certain locations, They accept every trip offered to them, and they pledge not to work with other applications.
Her comments come at a critical time for the EU, as it negotiates in a tripartite framework (the three parts of the EU: the Commission, the Council and Parliament) the final text of the new directive to improve economic conditions for gig workers.
Since 2021, Uber drivers in the UK have been considered ‘workers’, which does not mean full employee status, but does mean they receive sick pay and annual holiday pay. This condition is found among employees and self-employed entrepreneurs. Uber says it has gone further in terms of employment conditions than its UK-based rivals, including Ola and Bolt. The number of riders on the UK platform has doubled in recent years. wf
Featured Image: Pexels (Clive Kim)
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