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Unions accuse Uber of sidestepping court ruling

Geneva number plate and mobile phone
Uber and the unions are at loggerheads over labour conditions in Geneva. © Keystone/Salvatore Di Nolfi

Trade union groups in Geneva have criticised the American ride-hailing firm Uber of dodging a top Swiss court ruling.

The SITExternal link and UniaExternal link groups said the Californian multinational hadn’t adapted its labour conditions for drivers, despite a decision by the Federal Court in June to consider the company as an employer.

Talks with Uber had failed to resolve outstanding issues and it was time for the cantonal and federal governments to intervene, the unions said.

The unions say Uber SwitzerlandExternal link is sidestepping the court decision by setting up a subcontractor which ignored legal conditions by offering drivers minimal salaries and refusing to pay for petrol and other additional expenses.

For its part, Uber Switzerland argued that most of the drivers who joined the subcontracting company had agreed to the labour conditions.

Checking claims

Uber added that it would take a while to check claims about arrears of salary and social insurance payments, according to the news agency Keystone-SDA.

In the wake of the court decision, the ride-sharing firm was forced to cease operations in Geneva temporarily. But it was granted a new licence by the cantonal authorities after it set up a partner company, MITC Mobility.

The case dates back to 2019 when the canton decided to classify Uber as an employer, obliging it to pay social benefits to its drivers to continue operating.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR