Uber

Uber drivers have begun strike in Britain demanding higher fares and improved workers’ rights and urging users not to cross the digital picket line by ordering rides.

Around 50 protesters staged a noisy demonstration outside Uber’s offices in London on Tuesday, after a trade union called a 24-hour stoppage starting at 1 pm (1200 GMT).

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The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWBG) called the strike of Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, and Nottingham.

“We ask the public to please support drivers by not crossing the digital picket line by not using the app during strike time,” said James Farrar, chairman of the IWGB’s private hire drivers’ branch.

In a statement, Uber said that in recent months it had introduced sickness, injury, maternity and paternity protections for drivers.

It said a recent study by Oxford University academics found the average London driver earned around £11 (12.55 euros, $14.38) per hour spent logged in to the Uber app, after costs including fuel and Uber’s service fee.

“We continue to look at ways to help drivers increase their earnings and our door is always open if anyone wants to speak to us about any issues they’re having,” Uber said.