INDEPENDENT NEWS

Uber Drivers To Rally As Appeal On Contractor Misclassification Begins

Published: Mon 18 Mar 2024 01:10 PM
WHAT:
Uber drivers are holding a rally outside the Court of Appeal in Wellington tomorrow, as the company begins its appeal against 2022’s Employment Court verdict (in a case taken jointly by FIRST Union and E tū) that four drivers were permanent employees, not contractors.
Background:
"Uber drivers win employment rights in historic court case"
"Hundreds of drivers lodging backpay claims with Uber"
"NZ Uber drivers initiate bargaining for first ever collective agreement"WHEN:
Tuesday 19th March, 09:00WHERE:
Outside the Court of Appeal, corner Aitken and Molesworth Streets, WellingtonWHY:
"Drivers are fighting for the same rights the rest of us take for granted - minimum wage, sick leave, holiday pay and collective bargaining," said Anita Rosentreter, FIRST Union strategic project coordinator.
"The Court’s finding that Uber drivers were being wrongfully denied employment rights and protections had huge implications, not just in the so-called ‘gig economy’, but for tens of thousands of workers facing exploitation as misclassified contractors and being denied basic rights by employers."
"Uber has made a global practice of exploiting lax local labour laws and enforcement that were unprepared for their cavalier arrival into the market, and they are keen to maintain the practice of misclassification that underlies their business model - hence this appeal."
"Uber drivers earn less than minimum wage, and despite the promises of flexibility and freedom, many tell us that they have no control over their working hours and have to spend significant unpaid time and personal money on the basics required to do the job, like the car, fuel, maintenance, insurance and so on."
"The Government will also be watching the appeal with interest - they are so keen to shut down a person’s right to test their employment status in the Employment Court that they say they intend to change the law to stop this legal right in future."
"We have to stand up for our country’s legal sovereignty, our shared history of industrial struggles, and our right to challenge predatory multinationals like Uber who have no regard for workers’ wellbeing or our country’s."

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