Uber drivers are employed rather than independent contractors and are entitled to equal treatment with other workers, a Dutch court ruled on Monday, according to Reuters.
It is the latest court victory of unions fighting for the rights of workers in the ride-sharing industry after a similar decision in the UK.
The Amsterdam District Court joined the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), which had argued that Uber drivers are in fact employees of a taxi company and should be given the same remuneration and benefits as other workers in the sector.
Uber has said it will appeal the decision and “does not intend to hire drivers in the Netherlands”.
“We are disappointed with this decision because we know that the vast majority of drivers want to remain independent,” said Maurits Schönfeld, Uber’s general manager for Northern Europe. “Drivers do not want to give up the freedom to choose whether, when and where to work,” he added.
The court found that drivers transporting passengers through the Uber application are covered by the collective bargaining agreement for taxi transport.
“The legal relationship between Uber and these drivers meets all the characteristics of an employment contract,” the decision reads.
FNV hailed the decision as “a huge victory for drivers”, saying it would earn more payments and benefits.
“Due to the judge’s decision, Uber drivers are now automatically hired by Uber. As a result, they will receive more salaries and more rights in case of dismissal or illness, for example “, said Zakaria Boufangacha, FNV vice-president.
Judges also forced Uber to pay a fine of 50,000 euros ($ 58,940) for failing to implement the terms of the employment contract for taxi drivers.
In March, Uber said it would improve workers’ rights, including the minimum wage, for all over 70,000 British drivers, after losing a case to the Supreme Court in February.
Photo source: Unspalsh / Victor Avdeev