So, the Uber ruling is a very good thing indeed - but you won't be surprised to hear a Trade Union activist say this. What is more interesting, and more troubling for me, is the realisation that even if the coming challenges to this ruling are unsuccessful, the "gig economy" as an entity isn't about to disappear
Today, drivers won a pivotal victory in a case taken by my union, GMB against Uber that proved that they really are employees and not "partners" as the company always says... Up till now, Uber drivers have not been guaranteed a minimum wage - and as GMB, has shown, not every driver always makes the legal minimum. We're also not entitled to holiday pay and as a result, any time off means a loss of earnings, which can mean a lot when you have bills to pay. When Uber comes in and takes advantage of all the opportunities they have in Britain, they should also respect the law of the land and we have shown that today.
The criteria for judging success for any action by a trade union is whether it results in the organisation being stronger. GMB endorsing Owen Smith is highly unlikely to effect the overall result of the Labour leadership election, where Corbyn is widely expected to win. However, it is a decision that has placed GMB outside the ranks of the other progressive trade unions...
GMB advocated an 'angry remain' vote. It was a pragmatic vote that said, on balance, we'd be better off in. It was based on the defence of the workplace rights we've fought for via the EU for decades. It recognised the problems with the EU and pledged to fight to fix them. But the country did not agree - too many couldn't bring themselves to vote for what they saw as a failing status quo.
You said goodbye to your first job long ago. You may have flipped burgers, pulled bricks around a building site, or sat behind a till trying to find the Marlboro Golds. Whatever it was you were doing, one thing is almost certain: your first job was a shit job. Chances are the job you have now is no less painful than the first.