Uber loses legal battle over Dutch drivers' rights


Published: 2021-09-13 17:24

Last Updated: 2022-08-11 05:19

Source: EuroNews
Source: EuroNews

A Dutch court ruled Monday that Uber drivers in the Netherlands are covered by work contracts, in a new blow to the American group of ride-sharing.

The ruling in the case brought by a Dutch union came months after a similar decision issued by a British court on the rights of Uber drivers, which prompted the American company to agree to a union agreement for the first time in the United Kingdom.

The Amsterdam court said in a statement that "the legal relationship between Uber and these drivers contains all the elements of the employment contract," which makes the drivers covered by the collective labor agreement for taxi drivers.

"This means that Uber is forced to release an employment contract for drivers, which also means that these drivers are entitled to compensation in some circumstances," the statement added.

The Dutch union FNV took the case against Uber to the courts in December, stressing that taxi drivers and Uber have an employment contract and that drivers often receive less than the minimum wage.

Uber, which insists it provides a technology platform to connect independent drivers with potential customers, said it would appeal the ruling.

"We are disappointed with this decision because we know that the vast majority of drivers want to maintain their independence. Drivers do not want to give up the freedom to choose when and where they want to work," said Moritz Schönfeed, Uber's general manager in Northern Europe, in a statement received by AFP by email.

In a global precedent, Uber granted its UK drivers in March wage-earner status with provisions including minimum wages, following a ruling by the Supreme Court.

However, in other regions of the world, it is resisting vigorously this major change in its commercial system, assuring that its drivers work on an independent basis.