UPDATE 1-Amazon loses bid to throw out case by UK drivers seeking worker rights
(Adds Amazon comment)
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc has lost a bid to throw out three sample lawsuits brought by British delivery drivers seeking employment rights including the minimum wage and holiday pay.
More than 1,400 drivers who deliver Amazon parcels are suing in a London employment tribunal, arguing they should be classed as employees rather than self-employed contractors.
Amazon says it has no contractual relationship with the drivers and applied to throw out the claims at a hearing last month. However, in a ruling made public on Monday, a judge said the lawsuits against Amazon should proceed.
The tribunal ruled that it could not be “virtually certain” that the drivers would not be able to establish that they have a “worker relationship” with Amazon.
The claimants’ lawyer Kate Robinson said in a statement that the ruling was a “huge success” for the drivers.
“Amazon needs to recognise the value of the drivers delivering on their behalf and give them the rights we believe they are entitled to,” she said.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “We’re hugely proud of the drivers who work with our partners across the country, getting our customers what they want, when they want, wherever they are.
“We are committed to ensuring these drivers are fairly compensated by the delivery companies they work with and are treated with respect, and this is reflected by the positive feedback we hear from drivers every day.” (Reporting by Sam Tobin; Editing by Alison Williams and Cynthia Osterman)