After a Dutch court ruling, Uber says it has “no plans” to hire drivers.
After a Dutch court ruled Monday that Uber drivers are employees rather than freelancers, the company says it has no intentions to hire new drivers in the Netherlands. As a result of the decision, Uber’s drivers in the country will have more labor rights than if they were categorized as contractors.
The Amsterdam District Court ruled against the ride-hailing pioneer, siding with the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV). The court ruled that the 4,600 Uber drivers in the capital are employees of a taxi firm, and that Uber and the drivers’ “legal connection” had all the hallmarks of an employment contract.
The judge in the case did not stop there, saying that Uber drivers may be entitled to back pay in some situations and fining the business $58,940 for failing to follow the provisions of the taxi driver labor agreement. Uber expressed dissatisfaction with the decision immediately after it was made public and promised to appeal.
According to Reuters, Uber’s general manager for Northern Europe, Maurits Schonfield, said, “We are upset with this decision because we know that the overwhelming majority of drivers desire to stay autonomous.” “Drivers don’t want to give up their autonomy over if, when, and where they work.”
The FNV hailed the decision as a triumph for Uber drivers in the Netherlands.
The FNV vice president, Zakaria Boufangacha, said in a statement, “This statement shows what we have been saying for years: Uber is an employer and the drivers are employees, so Uber must comply to the collective labor agreement for Taxi Transport.”
He went on to say, “The Uber drivers are now automatically employed by Uber.”
Uber’s employment model has come under increasing scrutiny in the United States and Europe.
A California judge ruled on Aug. 20 that a ballot proposal exempting gig workers from being categorized as employees, which would have given them access to benefits and job protections, was invalid. Uber, too, objected to the verdict, claiming that it “defies both logic and the law” by ignoring the choice of the people.
A lawsuit is also pending in Massachusetts, where the firm is supporting a ballot initiative that would categorize drivers as gig workers rather than full-time employees under state law.
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom declared on Feb. 21 that Uber drivers were workers, not contractors. It dismissed Uber’s claim that its drivers were self-employed and that it merely served as an intermediary between them and consumers.
Washington Newsday’s Brief News is on.