Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Brussels, 25 October 2022

The EU has the means to give platform workers the social protection and working conditions they deserve, former Uber chief lobbyist Mark MacGann told MEPs.

Dragoș Pîslaru (Renew, RO), Chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, said: “The European Parliament and our committee will always take very seriously any allegations concerning the well-being of European workers, their labour rights and their working conditions, regardless of their statute or the time when such issues happened.

“In line with the established practice of the EP of providing whistleblowers with an open platform for bringing important issues to light, we decided to host a public hearing on the Uber Files. We devoted ample time for a discussion with Mr. Mark MacGann about the files he has provided to the press and seek solutions to the misdeeds he has highlighted.

“We believe new business models and new technologies can be a driving force for good in the world, as long as they are pursued in a sustainable and ethical way both for workers and employers.”

Members asked MacGann about how employees can entertain platform work without losing right and dignity and if the unlawful lobbying practices employed by Uber are still being emulated by platforms worldwide. They also wanted to know if Uber ever tracked their workers’ personal data and disclosed it, whether the current framework is breaking up European social justice, and if a new model can be introduced to abolish “bogus self employment”.

The video recording of the hearing will be available here.


The Uber files are a collection of thousands of documents leaked by Mark MacGann and published in July by a British newspaper, suggesting that Uber attempted to lobby high-ranking politicians in order to gain a market advantage, while disregarding their drivers’ working conditions and well-being.

Further information

EU-Abgeordneter Dennis Radtke (EVP/CDU): „Für Uber müssen endlich mehr Regeln gelten, als nur die Straßenverkehrsordnung!“

BRÜSSEL / BERLIN / DÜSSELSDORF. Im Ausschuss für Beschäftigung und soziale Angelegenheiten des Europäischen Parlaments gab es heute Nachmittag (25.10.2022) in Brüssel ein Public Hearing zu Uber, Lobbying und Rechten von Beschäftigten. An der Anhörung im Ausschuss nahmen der Whistleblower Mark McGann (ehem. Leiter der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit von Uber) und der EU-Kommissar für Beschäftigung und soziale Rechte, Nicolas Schmit, teil. Nach der Anhörung erklärt der sozialpolitische Sprecher der EVP-Fraktion und nordrein-westfälische Europaabgeordnete Dennis Radtke:

„Die Enthüllungen des Whistleblowers unterstreichen einmal mehr, mit welchen Methoden Uber versucht, Gesetze zu ihren Gunsten auszulegen. Das erleben wir auch gerade bei der Arbeit an der Richtlinie zur Regulierung von Plattformarbeit. Dies darf uns allerdings nicht beeindrucken. Unser Blick muss jetzt darauf gerichtet werden, wie Uber Rechte der Fahrer mitunter mit Füßen tritt. Wir brauchen endlich eine Richtlinie, die Beschäftigte wirksam schützt und auch für Fairness im Wettbewerb sorgt. Jeder Taxi-Unternehmer muss sich an Regeln halten, während für Uber offenbar nur die Straßenverkehrsordnung gilt.“

Quelle – EVP/CSU (über E-mail)


S&Ds: Today’s Uber hearing is another stark reminder that we urgently need ambitious legislation to protect platform workers

The public hearing on the Uber files scandal, organised today at 16:30 by the European Parliament’s employment committee, is another stark reminder that we urgently need ambitious legislation to guarantee full protection of platform workers. Ever since the unprecedented revelations of Uber’s abusive practices*, we have been insisting that platform workers must be considered employees with all applicable rights. Ensuring the protection of all workers in the digital era is one of the biggest challenges of our time.

The S&Ds have been leading the campaign for passing EU laws to better protect platform workers. Following up on a European Parliament own initiative report co-authored by S&D MEP Elisabetta Gualmini, the European Commission in December 2021 proposed a directive to that effect.

Agnes Jongerius MEP, S&D spokesperson on employment and social rights, said:

“Shocking revelations about Uber’s methods of trampling workers’ rights to drive profits up were a painful reminder that we need to step up our efforts to guarantee workers’ rights for all platform workers.

“Uber pushed some governments to deregulate markets and create a third category of workers: self-employed with no rights and no freedom under the mercy of the digital platform. The company has been investing heavily in aggressive lobbying at all levels and I urge my colleagues in this house not to be susceptible to their lobbying and to stop defending their labour exploitation methods. It is shocking to see that even after the scandal broke, there are still MEPs and member states who are willing henchmen of the transport company Uber.

“Ahead of today’s Uber hearing, we are again calling for urgent action to shield platform workers from exploitation through abusive business. We are committed to this fight.”

Elisabetta Gualmini, S&D MEP and Parliament negotiator on the platform workers’ directive, said:

“Due to being misclassified as self-employed, platform workers are denied basic social rights and paid low wages, as well as exposed to precarious and dangerous working conditions. The S&Ds are campaigning for platform workers to be considered as employees, except for those who are genuinely self-employed. We want to protect workers and of course good employers.”

“The European Parliament’s employment committee will vote on my report on better protecting platform workers, at the end of November. This vote will show whether other political groups support workers and good employers, or platforms that are abusing the opportunities of the digital era.”

*Note to editors:

In July, the unprecedented leak spanning more than 5 years and 124,000 documents exposed the ethically questionable practices of Uber. Today, the Parliament’s employment committee will hear out the whistleblower Mark MacGann, former Head of Public Policy at Uber, who exposed the company’s abusive business models.

Source: S&D – via email

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