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UBER on Wednesday (26) said it entered an agreement with the GMB union to represent up to 70,000 drivers of the ride-hailing giant in the UK.

 

It will boost the power of workers with collective bargaining, as the union would have the right to negotiate on behalf of the workforce.

 

Meetings will take place quarterly to discuss issues and the two – Uber drivers and GMB union – will work together on matters such as pay, pensions and safety, according to a statement by Uber.

 

Meanwhile, the drivers will retain their ability to choose if, when and where they drive.

 

“Whilst Uber and GMB may not seem like obvious allies, we’ve always agreed that drivers must come first, and today we have struck this important deal to improve workers’ protections,” said Uber northern and eastern Europe head Jamie Heywood.

 

The US-based company has long faced disputes and legal action with unions over its business model.

 

“This agreement shows gig economy companies don’t have to be a wild west on the untamed frontier of employment rights,” said GMB national officer Mick Rix.

 

In March, Uber drivers in Britain gained workers’ rights, following a Supreme Court ruling in February.