UK demonstrators press Uber ahead of key legal fight

Demonstrators and GIG economy workers protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice ahead of a legal hearing over employment rights in London, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. The latest in long-running series of arguments over the status of Uber drivers will be heard over two days at the RCJ. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of people who work in the so-called “gig economy” have gathered to protest outside Britain’s Royal Courts of Justice as Uber appealed earlier legal rulings that have broad implications for its business model.

The demonstrators argue San Francisco-based Uber should honor decisions that ruled that the two drivers in the case were “workers” under British law and therefore eligible for minimum wage and paid holidays.

Uber has argued that the men were independent contractors.

Lawyers are closely watching the case not just because of Uber’s massive footprint globally but because of the implications for the so-called gig economy, where people work job-to-job with little security and few employment rights.

Anna McCaffrey, an employment lawyer at Taylor Wessing, says the case will likely result in a landmark decision.

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