Deliveroo's UK riders win collective bargaining rights under union deal

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FILE PHOTO: A Deliveroo delivery rider cycles in London, Britain

(Reuters) - Deliveroo said on Thursday it has signed an agreement with trade union GMB to give the food delivery firm's 90,000 self-employed riders in Britain the rights to collective bargaining on pay and consultation on benefits.

The British company said a pay floor will be guaranteed to riders as part of the deal and will be discussed annually with the GMB Union.

"This deal is the first of its kind in the world," GMB National Officer Mick Rix said in a statement. "Riders for one of the world's largest online food delivery services will now be covered by a collective agreement that gives them a voice."

Deliveroo riders are currently paid minimum wages plus costs, while on an order, but the company said most riders earn more than that.

A British court last year confirmed that Deliveroo riders were self-employed, disappointing some workers who believed they should be considered employees which would have made them eligible for benefits.

The deal with GMB recognises that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, the company said. The agreement will also allow GMB to represent individual riders in disputes.

Employment models across the "gig economy", built largely on smartphone apps and self-employed workers, have been challenged in courts around the world by unions and workers.

In France, Deliveroo was last month found guilty of abusing riders' rights, while the Amazon-backed company was forced to pause plans to cut pay for drivers in the United Arab Emirates last week after a rare strike.

(Reporting by Muhammed Husain and Sachin Ravikumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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