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Uber loses Dutch court battle over employment rights case

PUBLISHED ON 2021-09-13 23:00:00 EST Ishika Dangayach

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Uber drivers are employees, not contractors, and so have more workers' rights under local labor rules, a Dutch court said on Monday.

According to a statement issued by the Amsterdam civil court, three judges concluded that Uber's legal connection with its drivers "conforms to all the characteristics of an employment contract.”

The judgment was hailed as a big win for Uber drivers by the Dutch workers' union initiated the lawsuit.

"We are disappointed with this decision because we know that the overwhelming majority of drivers wish to remain independent," said Maurits Schönfeld, Uber’s General Manager Northern Europe, AP reported.

He added that drivers "don’t want to give up their freedom to choose if, when, and where to work. In the interest of drivers, we will therefore appeal the court’s decision, whilst also continuing to improve platform work in the Netherlands.”

The Amsterdam District Court agreed with the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), which contended that Uber's around 4,000 drivers in the city are employees of a taxi firm and therefore be entitled to perks comparable to the taxi industry.

Uber was sentenced by the court to pay the FNV 50,000 euros ($59,000) in damages for violating the collective labor agreement.

According to FNV, the judgment implies that Uber drivers will be paid more and have greater rights if they become ill or have their job terminated.

Earlier in February, the court in the United Kingdom ruled against the ride-hailing app and concluded the drivers should be treated as staff, not as private third-party workers, ensuring that they are entitled to basic workplace rights, including minimum wage and holiday pay.

With inputs from AP

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