Uber has finally recognized a union of its own drivers and considering them "workers" rather than "employees." GMB trade union in the UK has managed to clinch the victory for union recognition from Uber. According to the Guardian, "GMB will have access to drivers' meeting hubs. It will also be able to represent drivers if they lose access to the Uber app, and it will meet quarterly with management to discuss driver issues and concerns."
The arrangement has not been clarified if it is a traditional union or an Independent Drivers Guild. The drivers won't be automatically enrolled in the union by just working for Uber by default. The Uber Drivers in the UK had recently won in the courts to be considered as workers rather than employees but still would get basic employment benefits like the minimum wage and pension. However, that court ruling did not apply to couriers on the Uber Eats food delivery.
GMB made history here, but Uber's track record gives onlookers every reason to doubt the efficacy of this new union. One of the parties which helped win worker status for UK drivers, the App Drivers & Couriers Union, refused to sign on to a similar deal for recognition. "This ground-breaking deal between GMB and Uber could be the first step to a fairer working life for millions of people. We now call on all other operators to follow suit," said GMB national officer Mick Rix.