Uber and Australia’s main transport union agreed on Tuesday to back a federal body that enforces minimum pay for the company’s drivers, joining a global thawing of relations between the ride-hailing giant and industrial bodies.
In a joint statement, Uber and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) said they signed an agreement to support an unspecified federal body to “set minimum and transparent enforceable earnings and benefits/conditions for platform workers”.
The new body would also oversee disputes that resulted in drivers in the so-called “gig economy” having their accounts shut off, and protect drivers’ rights to organise with a “collective voice”, the statement said.
The move, though largely symbolic, reflects a broader response by the San Francisco tech giant to pressure from unions around the world to put a floor under wages that supersedes its fee-setting algorithms.
The company has struck similar agreements with unions in Britain, Canada and some US states, but often after court rulings or changes to the law that favour guaranteed levels of pay.
In Britain, a court ruled in February 2021 that Uber’s drivers were its “workers”, thus entitled to the national minimum wage. In May, the company said it would formally recognise Britain’s GMB trade union.