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Uber deal for UK rideshare drivers

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The UK has reached a deal with Uber.

One of the world’s largest ride-sharing company, Uber has reached a historic deal with a trade union in the United Kingdom (UK).

A UK court granted over 90,000 Uber drivers with workers’ rights, through a collective bargaining agreement.

The GMB Union represents over 620,000 members across several industries. However, GMB’s National Officer, Mike Rix explained this deal is an important step.

“This agreement shows gig economy companies don’t have to be a wild west on the untamed frontier of employment rights.”

Uber officially recognised the union after a ruling by Britain’s Supreme Court in February.

“Whilst Uber and GMB may not seem like obvious allies, we’ve always agreed that drivers must come first, and today we have struck this important deal to improve workers’ protections,”

UBER EUROPE EXECUTIVE, JAMIE HEYWOOD

The Uber deal allows GMB to represent drivers if they lose access to Uber. Additionally, it will ensure two-way communication between management and drivers to discuss issues and concerns.

Also, the landmark deal will allow GMB to work with Uber on earning principles, pension entitlements and other benefits.

“Uber is the only major player in the industry to provide drivers with a National Living Wage guarantee, holiday pay and a pension.

“This historic agreement means that Uber will be the first in the industry to ensure that its drivers also have full union representation,” Mr Heywood said.

The deal is a first between a union and a gig economy ridesharing service, like Uber. But the deal does not apply to Uber’s food delivery service, Uber Eats.

The UK has recently seen a spike in Uber drivers, as demand increases in the wake of the nation’s lockdown.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Money

How will Disney’s AI strategy boost shares?

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Activist investor Blackwells has called upon Disney to implement a robust artificial intelligence strategy aimed at bolstering the company’s shares.

“Disney must produce an artificial intelligence strategy, and share elements of that strategy with its shareholders.”, said Blackwells in a recent presentation.

New groove

Blackwells, known for pushing corporations to adopt innovative approaches, contends that a well-crafted AI strategy could drive shareholder value and position Disney for sustained success in the entertainment landscape.

The activist investor emphasises that harnessing the power of AI could optimise content creation, enhance customer experiences, and streamline operational efficiency within Disney.

Disney’s response

The company opposed the suggestion to replace board members with activists’ nominees, emphasising the potential disruption to ongoing progress.

Additionally, Disney disagreed with Blackwells’ proposal to spin off land and hotels into a real estate investment trust, arguing it reflected a misunderstanding of the synergies within its businesses.

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Boeing woes will lead to higher airfares: Ryanair

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Ryanair, one of Europe’s leading low-cost airlines, is grappling with the possibility of scaling back its summer flight schedule due to ongoing delays in the delivery of Boeing aircraft.

The airline had initially anticipated a boost in its fleet with the arrival of new Boeing planes, enabling an expansion of routes and increased passenger capacity.

However, prolonged delays in the manufacturing and delivery process have cast a shadow over these plans.

Growing pains

The airline industry, already navigating challenges posed by the global pandemic, now confronts the additional hurdle of supply chain disruptions impacting major aircraft manufacturers.

Ryanair’s dependence on Boeing for its fleet expansion has made it particularly vulnerable to these delays.

As the summer travel season approaches, the airline faces the tough decision of either operating with a reduced fleet or adjusting its schedule, potentially impacting travel plans for passengers.

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Money

Gender pay gap – Calls grow for accountability

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The unveiling of gender pay gaps within large Australian organisations marks a significant milestone for gender equality, but experts emphasise the urgent need for greater accountability and action from employers, asserts a University of South Australia researcher.

Professor Carol Kulik, an authority in workplace diversity, underscores the importance of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s release of gender pay gap data for large Australian employers as a pivotal step forward.

However, she stresses that the true impact of this revelation will hinge on the proactive measures taken by organizations to address and narrow the existing disparity.

The WGEA’s disclosure will shed light on gender pay gaps among private sector employers with 100 or more employees for the first time.

This move comes amid ongoing efforts to promote and enhance workplace gender equality.

Pay gap

According to the WGEA’s 2023 report, the average gender pay gap in Australia stands at 21.7%, translating to women earning an average of $26,393 less per year than their male counterparts.

Professor Kulik, a member of the SA Gender Pay Gap Taskforce, underscores the importance of further actions to ensure that organizations are held accountable for addressing pay gaps.

“We now must be asking employers important questions,” Professor Kulik asserts.

“In what roles and levels of employment are pay gaps most prevalent? How are employers supporting employees’ caring responsibilities? What measures are being implemented to facilitate women’s advancement into higher-paying roles? How soon can employers commit to closing their pay gaps?”

Tend to escalate

Highlighting the trajectory of pay gaps over time, Professor Kulik notes that initial disparities between men and women at the outset of their careers tend to escalate as pay rises are often calculated as a percentage of an employee’s current salary.

Career breaks and caregiving responsibilities further exacerbate these discrepancies, resulting in women retiring with significantly lower superannuation than men.

Drawing parallels from regulatory interventions in other countries, Professor Kulik underscores the unintended consequences that may arise.

For instance, while legislative mandates in Denmark narrowed the gender pay gap, they also prompted employers to compress salary distributions, impacting both male and female employees.

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