Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/923/23869

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 November 2016

Gig economy exploitation can be beaten...

Fight for decent jobs for all

Taxi firm Uber's smartphone app, photo Pexel (Creative Commons)

Taxi firm Uber's smartphone app, photo Pexel (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Helen Pattison, Youth organiser, Socialist Party London

Those working in the 'gig economy' will be over the moon at the recent victory of Uber drivers.

Two workers, backed by general union GMB, took the transport firm to employment tribunal to prove they were actually employed by it. Because shockingly, Uber has been claiming its drivers are 'self-employed', meaning it has no legal responsibility to pay the minimum wage or grant decent holiday and sick leave.

This is bogus self-employment. It is one of employers' favourite tricks to avoid even the limited workers' rights the law provides.

A summer of strikes in the sector and a wave of unionisation of low-paid workers have put a lot of pressure on the bosses. Partly as a result, the judge made a scathing verbal attack on the rise in this form of exploitation, stating: "The notion that Uber in London is a mosaic of 30,000 small businesses linked by a common 'platform' is to our minds faintly ridiculous."

This ruling should give confidence to everyone working insecure jobs. But important as this ruling is, it was not a foregone conclusion. Collective workers' action helped win it, and only collective workers' action will ensure the bosses stick to it.

Strike

A Deliveroo workers' delegation enters the company HQ for talks with management photo James Ivens, photo James Ivens

A Deliveroo workers' delegation enters the company HQ for talks with management photo James Ivens, photo James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

The Ritzy cinema workers in south London are back on their picket lines fighting for a living wage, after bosses refused to take seriously their pledge of negotiations after the last round of strikes. Deliveroo drivers recently won a big victory against changes to their contracts which would have slashed their pay, also by striking.

These workers are some of the most exploited. But they are also finding their voice to fight back.

These industrial battles must continue, backed by unionising more low-paid, precarious and unorganised workforces to join them. Trade unions have a double role: they can ensure existing workers' rights are respected, and can fight for a better deal too.

But we also need a political voice. Jeremy Corbyn won huge support by calling for ending zero-hour contracts, introducing a 10 an hour minimum wage, and scrapping restrictions on trade unions.

To make these demands a reality, Corbyn must lead the fight to get the Blairites out of Labour. We need a mass workers' party opposed to austerity, to fight for an end to bogus self-employment and the exploitative practices gig economy.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 2 November 2016:


What we think

Corbyn movement must seize initiative - or face defeat


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight for decent jobs for all

Fight the 'burning' of our museums and libraries!

Battle of Orgreave: Establishment cover up continues

One third of 2010's new teachers have already quit

We are all Daniel Blake: no more deaths from benefit cuts

LGBT people need militancy, not false 'allies' like David Cameron

What we saw


Refugee solidarity

Solidarity with refugees

Demolition of Calais 'Jungle' camp - eyewitness report

My time in a detention centre


Socialist Party youth and students

Mass student strike rocks Spanish state

Glasgow School of Arts students "let us learn" revolt


International socialist news and analysis

EU-Canada trade deal battle points to Corbyn's Brexit opportunity


Environment and socialism

Heathrow expansion exposes Tory divisions


Socialist Party feature

Will workers on company boards make bosses accountable?


Workplace news and analysis

Sheffield bin workers' action strengthens in numbers and mood

Solid Southern strike continues against Britain's 'worst' train company

Newsquest strike: "It's impossible to do our jobs"

Outsourced ambulance workers strike in Tooting


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Glenfield heart unit closure: Over 1,000 march

Massive demo against A&E closure

Campaigners call on Greenwich council to oppose the Housing Act

Haringey care services face ruthless cuts and privatisation

Teaching assistants stage vigil and rally

"Our problems cannot be solved by capitalist politics"


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 November 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Uber:

triangleLow pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out

triangleUber drivers strike against unfair 'deactivation' and low pay

triangleFirst coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

triangleCatering and courier workers strike together

triangleCoordinated catering and courier strikes prove potential for mass union mobilisation

Jobs:

triangleNo free ride for the airline bosses - nationalise Flybe now!

triangleThem & Us

triangleWest Midlands RMT guards jobs saved

triangleTata announces 1,000 job cuts - Steel unions must fight for every job!

Economy:

triangleIgnore the hype - austerity goes on: organise to resist

triangleLife in the gig economy

triangleChina at the crossroads: 70 years since the declaration of the People's Republic of China

Workers:

triangleAfter the defeat

triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on 16 January; Over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attack on pensions. Photo James Ivens

Drivers:

triangleLondon bus drivers ballot to strike

Unions:

triangleFrance striker speaks: real, deep anger needs union strategy

Low-paid:

triangleBEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Pay:

triangleBelfast Hovis workers' all-out strike

Trade unions:

triangleBuilding Tamil Solidarity with youth and the unions

Minimum wage:

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Zero-hour contracts:

triangleLabour and the fight for a shorter working week

Living wage:

triangleTory minimum wage hike not enough

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/1/20

London

Unite regional committee votes to support anti-cuts Enfield councillor

22/1/20

East London

A win against academisation in east London

22/1/20

Council

Make a stand: set legal no-cuts council budgets

22/1/20

Tamil Solidarity

Building Tamil Solidarity with youth and the unions

22/1/20

Royal Mail

Royal Mail workers to reballot for strike action

22/1/20

South Yorkshire

"If you think bus and rail services are crap, sign our petition to take them back"

22/1/20

Belfast

Belfast Hovis workers' all-out strike

22/1/20

PCS

Renewing the left in PCS

22/1/20

Liverpool

Capitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

15/1/20

Young people

Young people who voted for Corbyn's manifesto will now ask... How can we win those ideas?

15/1/20

Scotland

Massive Scottish independence demo marks new stage in struggle

15/1/20

London

London: Protesters return to oppose Middle East war

15/1/20

Government

Cladding scandal: Government steps up defence of landlords

15/1/20

Nottingham

Nottingham: Youth protest against Barclays 64 million fossil-fuel investments

15/1/20

Strike

Westex Carpet strike reaches two month mark

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999