LISTEN Rebecca Long-Bailey says using Uber is not 'morally acceptable'
The Shadow Business Secretary has said she does not feel that using Uber is “morally acceptable” because of the way it treats its drivers.
Rebecca Long-Bailey accused the company, which connects drivers with potential fares via a phone app, of “exploiting” workers.
“I don’t personally use Uber because I don’t feel that it was morally acceptable,” she told Radio 4’s Today programme.
Uber has been at the centre of controversy over whether its drivers are employees – and therefore entitled to workplace rights – or self-employed contractors.
A new review for the Government, conducted by former Tony Blair advisor Matthew Taylor, will call for a “designated contractor” status to be established to oversee the situation in the so-called “gig economy”.
Uber said its model allowed drivers to make money "on their own terms".
But Ms Long-Bailey said the company should “reform their practices”.
“I don’t like the way that they’re exploiting their workers,” she added.
“I don’t want to see companies model their operations on the Uber-model. The recent [court] case… works on the principle that if it looks like a job, it smells like a job then it is a job and the workers should be employed.”
Her stance was backed up by fellow Labour MP Wes Streeting:
A spokesperson for Uber responded: "Millions of people rely on Uber to get around and tens of thousands of drivers use our app to make money on their own terms.
"Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades before our app existed and with Uber they have more control. Drivers are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts or minimum hours. In fact the main reason people say they sign up to drive with Uber is so they can be their own boss.
"Drivers using Uber made average fares of £15 per hour last year after our service fee and, even after costs, the average driver took home well over the National Living Wage. We’re also proud to have moved things on from this industry’s cash-in-hand past since every fare is electronically recorded, traceable and transparent."
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