ZURICH Jan 5 Uber drivers are employees for
which the company must pay social security contributions, a
Swiss insurance agency has ruled, dealing a blow to the U.S.
ride-hailing platform that says drivers are freelance
The California-based startup whose cab service has expanded
worldwide stands accused in many countries of bypassing national
labour protection standards and shunning collective negotiation
with drivers who work on freelance terms.
Suva - which as a provider of Swiss obligatory on-the-job
accident insurance helps decide which workers are freelance -
found Uber Technology drivers are staff because they
faced consequences if they did not meet Uber rules and could not
set prices and payment terms independently, broadcaster SRF
SRF cited an appeal ruling in one driver's case it said it
had seen. Suva was not immediately available for comment.
Labour representatives hailed the ruling, but local Uber
boss Rasoul Jalali pointed out to SRF that the Suva decision was
not the final word.
"If we cannot find an agreement with Suva, we will have to
rely on the courts," he said.
Founded in 2009, Uber has taken the world by storm but come
up against opposition too.
Various services it has proposed have been banned in some
countries and it faces numerous battles in U.S. courts over
labour standards, safety rules and pricing policies that trigger
fare surges at peak times.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Nick Macfie)