The Supreme Court reopens the legal case against Uber Eats for an alleged case of undercover ERE to some 3,000 delivery men, derived from the lawsuit filed by CCOO and UGT. The National High Court dismissed the unions’ complaint when it concluded that they did not have “legitimacy” to challenge a collective measure in the delivery company, where there was no legal representation of the workers since the riders They had freelance contracts. The high court rectifies the Court in a ruling known this Thursday, annuls its sentence and forces the body to reopen the case.
Sentence, advanced by El Periódico de Catalunya and to which elDiario.es has had access, an amendment to the National High Court for various reasons. In the first place, it considers that the CCOO and the UGT do have active legitimacy to challenge a collective dismissal in the company.
The magistrates of the Supreme maintain that in the context of a collective dismissal that may affect people “with respect to whom their status as employees could be questioned” (false self-employed), and in which there is no evidence of the existence of representation of the workers, “it seems logical to conclude that the most representative unions in the sector to which the company belongs have legitimacy to sue and uphold the illegality of the decision.”
Danger of defenselessness of workers
In addition, the high court warns that excluding the majority unions from this legitimacy to sue the company could leave the unions defenseless. riders affected by the layoffs, who could sue individually, but not collectively.
“Recognizing legitimacy to the aforementioned unions implies avoiding a certain danger of defenselessness of the affected people, since the refusal to admit such legitimacy would make it impossible to challenge the collective business decision that could be classified as constituting a collective dismissal,” the judges indicate. .
The exclusion signed by the National High Court not only “voids the content” of the right to effective judicial protection that workers may have from a collective perspective, indicates the ruling, but also “completely distorts the legal requirements” derived from article 51 ET (collective dismissal), “because the company’s decision would become irrevocable, pending only the possible individual actions of the affected workers, which have a different purpose and serve to protect interests not comparable with those that the collective process deals with to satisfy”.
Termination of 3,000 contracts unilaterally
With the entry into force of the Rider Law, to put an end to false self-employed in these home delivery companies, Uber Eats unilaterally annulled the contracts of its self-employed delivery people to move to a subcontracting model, in which other companies hire labor to the riders that they deliver for Uber Eats.
The unions, which defend the previous employment relationship of the delivery men and Uber Eats, as has solved the Labor Inspection, sued the company for what they understood to be an undercover ERE. In other words, the company had fired the entire workforce – some 3,000 people – without opening the legal procedure for collective dismissal provided for this situation.
Now, the Supreme Court forces the National Court to reopen the case, understanding that there is active legitimacy of the two unions to challenge the dismissal of the delivery men.
The high court also rectifies the judicial body in two other elements. It endorses that “the practice of the documentary evidence requested” by the unions be “ordered” and also that “the lawsuit against the entity Uber Systems Spain SL” (another company after Uber Eats in addition to the already sued Portier Eats Spain), that CCOO and UGT claimed. The National Court rejected this extension of the demand with a criticism of the “bad faith” of the unions, which the Supreme Court also rejects.
UGT has celebrated the judicial decision. “The sentence supposes the obligation to repeat the trial again before the National High Court, which must already rule on the concurrence of the collective dismissal carried out by Uber in August 2021 and the corresponding consequences in its case, of reinstatement of the fired delivery people. , with payment of the wages not received or, where appropriate, pay them the legal compensation for unfair dismissal, ”says the union.
The Federation of CCOO Services has considered the Supreme Court ruling “very important” for valuing the legitimacy of the most representative unions to challenge the collective dismissal, “guaranteeing, likewise, the right to effective judicial protection”.