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Seoul court rules ride-hailing drivers are not workers
The Seoul Administrative Court overturned an administrative labor agency’s decision recognizing ride-hailing service Tada drivers as workers.
SOCAR, the parent company of Tada operator VCNC, filed a suit to seek the cancellation of the National Labor Relations Commission’s retrial ruling on relief of unfair dismissals.
According to the court, the Tada drivers, who were the defendants, signed a replacement driver contract with the plaintiff’s partner companies to provide a replacement driving service, while having no contractual relationship with the plaintiff.
The court determined that by driving from the pickup place to the drop-off destination based on orders placed by Tada service users, it is groundless to claim that the defendants’ work was determined unilaterally by the plaintiff.
The court emphasized that the drivers had the discretion to accept or reject orders and that the nature of their work, including pickup location, drop-off location, and route traveled, was governed by the orders submitted by clients.
Due to the need to reduce the number of cars, VCNC, which operated Tada under freelancing contracts with drivers, fired roughly 70 drivers in July 2019.
As a result, the defendants filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Commission alleging that they were arbitrarily fired after working under VCNC's management and supervision.
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