Gig Briefs: Delivery service couriers unionize; Nissan to try car-sharing

In brief

Uber drivers classified as employees in U.K.

The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled Oct. 28 that Uber drivers are entitled to workers’ rights, including paid holidays and the minimum wage, The Wall Street Journal reported. The ruling could affect about 30,000 Uber drivers in the London area and 40,000 in the U.K. Uber said that it would appeal the tribunal’s decision.

Airbnb issues new anti-discrimination policy

In response to months of allegations of discrimination by its users, Airbnb released its new anti-discrimination policy called on Oct. 29, detailing its commitment to inclusion and respect. Starting this month, hosts are being required to accept the policy, which the company says aims to “treat everyone in the Airbnb community – regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age – with respect, and without judgment or bias.”

U.K. couriers demand union recognition and rights

A union representing couriers for Deliveroo, a British food delivery service, demanded recognition from the company so that the union can bargain for pay and conditions on workers’ behalf. The deal will initially cover Camden in north London and will be rolled out nationwide if successful, according to The Independent. Currently, the workers are classed as self-employed contractors, and are not entitled to the rights available to workers, including sick pay and the national living wage. The union gave the firm 10 days to respond to the union’s request and would take legal action if the company rejects the request.

Nissan gears up for car-sharing program

Japanese automaker Nissan this week announced a car-sharing program called Get & Go, which uses social media posts to identify motoring habits and link up potential drivers into localized car-ownership clubs, according to The Financial Times (paywall). The company will officially launch the program later this year in Paris using Nissan Micra cars. Users are able to sign up starting in December and will be paired with people in their local area who also take part. Participants in each group will communicate with each other through an app, and each member will be billed monthly for his or her share of the mileage and usage. “We’re pioneering new ways to allow drivers to enjoy the freedom and financial benefits of shared car ownership,” Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said.

Gig Briefs provides a roundup of top news and occasional long reads on the gig economy.

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