A UK trade union has brought a legal challenge arguing Deliveroo riders denied their right to collective bargaining and their human rights have been violated.
A judicial review, brought by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), argues Deliveroo is denying their riders the right to collectively bargain for pay and holidays through their trade union, and state this breaches their human rights. Article 11 of the Human Rights Convention protects the right to join a trade union, as ‘everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions, for the protection of his interests.’ The high court ruling is predicted to have major implications for thousands of workers in the gig economy, and is the latest development relating to workers in the gig economy. Earlier this month the Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that Addison Lee drivers are employees, not self-employed contractors.
Fundamental human rights
IWGB General Secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee says ‘at stake in this case is not just the basic employment rights of Deliveroo riders, but their fundamental human rights to organise within a trade union and collectively bargain to improve their lot.’ The IWGB is challenging a decision made by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) in November 2017 which found that Deliveroo riders were not workers because they could ask other riders to take on deliveries for them, or have the right to substitution. The CAC said, ‘the central and insuperable difficulty for the union is that we find the substitution right to be genuine, in the sense that Deliveroo have decided in the new contract that riders have a right to substitute themselves both before and after they have accepted a particular job.’