Despite Supreme Court ruling, hundreds of thousands of drivers denied legal rights says GMB and Uber 

GMB Union and Uber today committed to end the exploitation of more than 200,000 drivers who use ride hailing apps. 

Today marked the first meeting between Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, and Uber’s Jamie Heywood, following the ground-breaking trade union recognition deal. 

Under the deal – struck in May – Uber will formally recognise GMB, which will now be able to represent up to 70,000 Uber drivers across the UK. 

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court determined Uber drivers are not self-employed, but are workers entitled to workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks. 

But with more than 300,000 drivers working in the ride-hailing and the PHV industry, an estimated 230,000 are still not receiving their legal rights from companies like Bolt and Addison Lee. 

GMB and Uber today pledged to end this exploitation. 

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said:  

“The ground-breaking deal between GMB and Uber was the first step towards a fairer working life for millions of people.  

“It showed that when companies and trade unions work together, standards can be raised across these industries.  

“Earlier this year the Supreme Court set a precedent for all ride hailing apps to provide drivers with worker rights such as holiday pay and a pension.  

“Uber has done this for its 70,000 drivers, but there are more than 200,000 more working for other operators still denied these basic legal rights.  

“GMB and Uber today take the next step in our commitment to ending the exploitation of hundreds of thousands of ride-hailing app drivers.” 

Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Uber said:  

“The historic agreement with GMB ensured that Uber was the first in the industry to ensure all of its drivers have full union representation, as well as a pension and holiday pay.  

“We may not seem like obvious allies, but together we made history by striking a recognition agreement to improve workers’ protections and, crucially, give drivers a stronger say in how Uber operates.  

“We hope that working constructively with GMB will show the rest of the industry what can be achieved, ensuring that all drivers, no matter who they work with, receive the rights and protections they are entitled to.”