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Changes coming to your Uber trip as rideshare drivers sign ‘historic’ agreement

Big changes are coming for YOUR Uber journey as rideshare giant signs ‘historic’ agreement to pay drivers minimum wage

  • Changes in the way Uber drivers work could increase trust in the services
  • The transport giant signed a deal with Transport Workers’ Union on Tuesday
  • Workers will no longer be exploited in the new industry ‘game changer’
  • Industry-wide standards have been agreed, along with a minimum wage
  • Union boss assures workers will be ‘safe, rested and able to fend for themselves’

A new deal between gig economy company Uber and the Transport Workers’ Union will ensure vital Australian workers are no longer exploited, says the union’s national secretary.

Under the agreement signed Tuesday, Uber and the TWU agreed to support the federal government in drafting legislation for an independent body to create industry-wide standards, including a minimum wage.

“It’s an amazing moment in Australian industrial history,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine told reporters on Wednesday.

“It means Australians… can have confidence that the worker providing these services is safe, equipped and able to take care of themselves and their families.”

TWU boss said the milestone agreement will enable customers to be safer knowing their drivers will be 'safe and equipped'

TWU boss said the milestone agreement will enable customers to be safer knowing their drivers will be ‘safe and equipped’

Gig economy workers who work for companies like Uber are not entitled to minimum wage or sick leave because they are classified as independent contractors.

Uber and the union will take their case to the federal government, in hopes that legislative changes will be developed and approved in parliament this year.

The two are also committed to further discussions on setting industry standards.

Labor Senator Tony Sheldon, who chaired a Senate job security inquiry, said the new administration is committed to improving standards for workers in the gig economy.

“It’s high on the priority list,” Senator Sheldon told reporters.

“But you have to have good consultations to make sure there are no unintended consequences, with the clear result that you give people minimum rights and basic rights to workers and make this industry sustainable.”

The new agreement comes after Uber signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, of which TWU is a member, in February to begin discussions on global working conditions.

The TWU signed a similar agreement with delivery platform DoorDash in May.

“Companies have been pushing against this move for a long time,” said Mr. Kaine.

“But it’s true to say there’s a sense of momentum.

“We’re now talking to other companies besides Uber and DoorDash, and we think the momentum is there for those companies to understand that this is the way forward.”

Uber (pictured) and the union will take their case to the federal government, in hopes that legislative changes will be developed and approved in parliament this year

Uber (pictured) and the union will take their case to the federal government, in hopes that legislative changes will be developed and approved in parliament this year

A report published in April by the NSW House of Lords called for better protection for workers in the gig economy after five food deliverers were killed in two months at the end of 2020.

A Victorian Parliamentary inquiry also found that gig economy platforms deliberately structured employee schemes to circumvent Australian regulations.

The new agreement between Uber and TWU will raise the standard of work for more than 100,000 people, said Dom Taylor, Uber chief executive.

“We want to see a level playing field for the industry and maintain the flexibility that DIYers value most,” Mr Taylor said in a statement.

“It’s critical that earners remain part of the regulatory conversation and that their collective voices are heard.”

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