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UK union calls on its Uber drivers to strike on Tuesday

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UK union calls on its Uber drivers to strike on Tuesday
A photo illustration shows the Uber app and London themed postcards in London, Britain June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/Illustration   -   Copyright  SIMON DAWSON(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – A British trade union called on Uber [UBER.UL] drivers to strike in London, Birmingham and Nottingham on Tuesday for 24 hours by not signing into the app, in a push for higher fares and more working rights.

Uber has around 60,000 drivers in Britain and earlier this year won back its right to operate in London after it was stripped of its licence by the city’s regulator.

The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) expects hundreds of drivers at least to participate in the industrial action from 1200 GMT (1300 BST) on Tuesday by not signing into the app. Protests are also planned outside Uber’s offices.

Uber drivers are not obliged to work particular hours by the firm and choose when to sign in and out of the app.

The Silicon Valley-based company said it had improved its offering to drivers in recent months.

“We’ve introduced dozens of new features, including sickness, injury, maternity and paternity protections,” said a spokesman.

“We continue to look at ways to help drivers increase their earnings and our door is always open if anyone wants to speak to us about any issues they’re having.”

Uber has faced protests and legal action around the world as it disrupts traditional operators.

In Britain, its drivers are self-employed, entitling them in law to few workplace rights, prompting the IWGB and others to launch legal action.

A Court of Appeal hearing over workers’ rights at the company is due later this month.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter)

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