The Belgian transport union ABVV-BTB and Uber have announced a groundbreaking partnership to improve working conditions for thousands of drivers using the Uber app in Belgium. The differences between the union and Uber still in principle about the status of the drivers. Peeters and Slits speak of a "historic agreement" and a first for the European Union.
The Christian trade union ACV does not agree with it agreement. “This comes as a complete surprise to us,” says Martin Willems of ACV United Freelancers. Willems finds it incomprehensible that ABVV is just now concluding an agreement. New legislation is on the way at Belgian and European level that pushes platform work towards employee status. “Why conclude an agreement before that framework is in place?” Willems asks himself in a first reaction to VRT NWS. He also points out that the unions are still involved in a legal battle with the platform services over the statute.
Drivers retain the freedom to choose whether, where and when they drive, and at the same time can choose to be represented by ABVV-BTB. With this collaboration, ABVV-BTB acts as a modern trade union and represents the interests of all drivers, regardless of their status.
- Uber recognizes ABVV-BTB as a representative for all drivers using the Uber app in Belgium.
- Uber and ABVV-BTB are joining forces to raise the standard of working conditions across the industry.
- Drivers will have an even clearer voice within Uber, as ABVV-BTB will help shape important developments through social dialogue with Uber's management and will also have a prominent physical presence in Uber's Driver Hub.
The American company made previously known that it will allow Brussels taxi drivers to offer their services on its application. A decision that will benefit both drivers and users, the mighty platform thinks, but the question is whether this 'offer' is not a path to the abyss for taxi drivers?
A major disadvantage of selling services on a platform is that you do not build a customer relationship. If customers are satisfied after the taxi ride, they are more likely to order from Uber again, without the guarantee that it will end up with you. According to Uber, drivers will spend less time driving around looking for passengers or waiting at taxi ranks and more time driving with a paying passenger on board.
This agreement follows a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding signed in February by Uber and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), to which the ABVV-BTB is a member, and which agreed to engage in a social dialogue on drivers' working conditions. and couriers. This partnership marked a turning point and significant progress in the relationship between Uber and the unions.
ABVV-BTB and Uber have agreed to collaborate on a number of key issues, including representation. Union representatives will feature prominently in Uber's Driver Hub to help drivers with representation questions and challenges. In addition, ABVV-BTB and Uber leadership meet quarterly for social dialogue to discuss driver feedback and issues.
Another important theme is working conditions. ABVV-BTB will work with Uber on topics relevant to platform work, including the experience of working with the Uber app, and driver health and safety. Furthermore, ABVV-BTB will play a role as a representative of drivers if they want to appeal against the loss of access to the Uber app.