Being designated that way legally would bring them the benefits, rights, and protections of employees.
Meanwhile, Uber is also battling in the London to prevent its license to operate from being revoked.
Sarah O'Connor in the Financial Times (behind paywall) reports:
"Uber has lost a key legal battle in the UK after its appeal of an earlier tribunal ruling that its should treat its drivers as 'workers' who are entitled to the minimum wage and holiday pay was dismissed."
But that's not the end of the story - or the beginning of better treatment soon for Uber drivers in the UK.
Uber can appeal this decision again to the Court of Appeal and potentially to the Supreme Court. That could delay implementation of the current ruling for years. Uber has the resources to keep the appeal options going.
Uber headquarters in the US has appointed Tony West as its top in-house lawyer. West has an excellent reputation, from his work at Pepsi, for promoting ethical conduct and diversity. He could reshape how Uber presents itself and argues its points of law in courtrooms throughout the world.
The business world is watching this legal process in the UK. It's a major market for Uber. The business model of using contract labor, not employees, gives companies such as Uber the competitive edge. It also can increase profits significantly. Should Uber lose that option, it will become less attractive to investors.
In the US, another class action lawsuit has been filed against a company leveraging the gig economy labor relationship. That's "Melanie Anne Winns v. Postmates et al." Here are details from Maya Kosoff at Vanity Fair.
How labor is classified has become a high-profile issue in the evolving employer-workforce relationship globally. India, for example, is experiencing the growth of "independents."
That could increasingly be the option for the workforce as massive reductions in force are occurring in the traditional labor market in India. A sign of the changing times, the concept of outplacement is becoming familiar in India. Around the world, displaced employees can demand outplacement as part of the exit package.
You owe yourself a complimentary consultation about your marketing and advocacy communications. Please contact Jane Genova, firstname.lastname@example.org or @genova_jane.