Reliance upon legal protections is no substitute for organised industrial strength, but that doesn’t mean that our movement should pay no attention to the law. Indeed, the workers of the mid-nineteenth century who fought to limit working time realised that making demands of the capitalist state is part of the struggle against capitalism.
More than a hundred years later, Governments conceded individual statutory rights to employees in response to the strength of our movement in the workplace. Employers have sought to circumvent these rights by creating new models of precarious employment which deny these legal protections to their workers.
The challenge which the GMB now faces is to unionise tens of thousands of Uber drivers in order to help them to enforce their newly confirmed legal rights.