A group of Uber drivers are set to hold a strike on Wednesday ahead of the $90 billion stock market flotation of the minicab company.
Drivers in London, Nottingham, Glasgow, and Birmingham who are members of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), will observe a 9-hour boycott of the app between 7 am and 4 pm.
The drivers are planning to log off the app and stage protests over the failure of Uber to resolve pay issues.
The demonstrations are considered to be a part of a global day of action by Uber drivers on the 8th of May.
IWGB is urging the public to not cross the digital picket line by using the app to book Uber services during these times.
The investors and founders of Uber stand to make billions of dollars overnight when the firm sells its shares publicly for the first time.
The union says that the $90 billion valuation of Uber is built on an unsustainable business model dependent on “worker exploitation, tax avoidance and regulatory arbitrage.”
Since 2016, successive judgements from the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal, and Employment Tribunal have said that the drivers of Uber are entitled to basic worker rights, such as holiday pay and the minimum wage.
The firm maintains that its drivers are considered to be self-employed.
Drivers who are going on strike next week are asking an increase in fares from £1.25 to £2 per mile and a reduction of the commission of Uber from 25 per cent to 15 per cent.
The Chair of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union, James Farrar, stated: “Uber’s flotation is shaping up to be an unprecedented international orgy of greed as investors cash in on one of the most abusive business models ever to emerge from Silicon Valley.”
He added: “It is the drivers who have created this extraordinary wealth but they continue to be denied even the most basic workplace rights.”
He continued: “We call on the public not to cross the digital picket line on 8 May but to stand in solidarity with impoverished drivers across the world who have made Uber so successful.”