Uber Eats Riders in Brussels to Strike

Sarhan Basem
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Brussels (Brussels Morning) – Uber Eats riders in Brussels plan to strike on April 30 and May 1, demanding better pay and conditions. They seek increased compensation and protest automated account locks, urging authorities to enforce labour laws.

The Maison des Livreurs association reports that Uber Eats riders in Brussels will strike on 30 April and 1 May. They demand better pay and working conditions. Their major demands include a €2 growth per delivery and an additional €0.5 per kilometre travelled. 

How Have Pay Rates for Uber Eats Riders Changed?

“Pay rates haven’t raised since 2019, despite inflation of at least 20%,” the collective condemned, while also calling for a stop to automated locking out of their profile accounts for turning down a delivery request, which is “determined  by the algorithm, with no real possibility to defend their standpoint.”

During the walkout, the riders will speak to restaurant owners to pursue their solidarity. A gathering is also scheduled on 1 May at 4:30 pm in Brussels, outside Uber’s Belgian headquarters.

Legally, as of 1 January 2023, riders are identified as employees, the association reminds. Furthermore, in late 2023 the Brussels Labour Court supervised in the Deliveroo case that delivery drivers must be categorised as employees by the platform and have the same rights as other workers.

“While waiting for the authorities to enforce the law, our demands can no longer wait,” urges The Maison des Livreurs. Riders voice outrage at the “laxity of the authorities” in the face of the crisis, and denounce discrimination, racism, and “executive harassment” they suffer from, “while the platforms manipulating them go unchecked.”

When was the Last Time a Protest Occurred in Brussels?

In September 2022, angry taxi drivers from across Europe also brought traffic to a halt in Brussels to protest against ride-hailing platform Uber. The gathering followed the Uber Files investigation in July, which documented how Uber circumvented regulations and courted lawmakers. It included French President Emmanuel Macron, as it expanded its business. Disappointed with their governments, protesters said they wanted the EU to step in.

Hundreds of drivers, brandishing Spanish, Swiss, and Italian flags, cut across Brussels’ Rue Belliard on the way to the Schuman roundabout, in front of the European Commission’s Berlaymont building. They placed tombstones telling the EU to “act now or don’t cry later.” 

At that time, on the EU level, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament were investigating a Commission proposal on platform work that could reclassify up to 4.1 million workers, including Uber drivers, as employees rather than independent contractors.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.