Uber drivers are employees and not independent contractors and are entitled to more employee rights, a Dutch court ruled on Monday.
It is the latest court win for unions fighting for workers’ rights in the gig economy after a similar decision in the UK.
The Amsterdam District Court sided with the Dutch Federation of Trade Unions, which had argued that Uber drivers are actually employees of a taxi company and should receive the same salary and benefits as other workers in the industry.
Uber said it will appeal the decision and has “no plans to employ drivers in the Netherlands”.
“We are disappointed with this decision because we know that the vast majority of motorists want to remain independent,” said Uber Managing Director for Northern Europe, Maurits Schönfeld. “Motorists do not want to give up their freedom of choice as to whether, when and where to work.”
The court found that drivers who transport passengers through the Uber app are covered by the collective bargaining agreement for taxi transportation.
“The legal relationship between Uber and these drivers fulfills all the characteristics of an employment contract,” the ruling said.
The FNV hailed the ruling as “a great victory for drivers” who would receive more salaries and benefits.
“As a result of the judge’s judgment, Uber drivers are now automatically employed by Uber,” said Zakaria Boufangacha, vice chairwoman of the FNV. “This gives them, for example, more wages and more rights in the event of dismissal or illness.”
Uber drivers are entitled to additional payment in some cases, the court said.
The judges also fined Uber 50,000 euros ($ 58,940) for failing to comply with the terms of the taxi driver’s employment contract.
In March, Uber said it would improve workers’ rights, including the minimum wage, for all of its 70,000+ UK drivers after losing a Supreme Court case in February.