Plans for a socialist Uber and Deliveroo revealed by Labour

A Labour government would back tech innovations that were owned by the people who worked for them.

Uber: Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey is not a fan
Uber: Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey is not a fan

Speaking today at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, the shadow business, energy and industrial strategy, laid out her party’s response to the advent of the "fourth industrial revolution".

Long-Bailey said: "We’ll ensure that workers themselves can have a stake in our industrial journey alongside business.

"Imagine if the technology which allows us to hail a taxi or order a takeaway via an app was shared by those who rely on it for work. They would have the power to agree their own terms and conditions and rates of pay, with the profits shared among them or re-invested for the future," she added.

To get these ideas into the open, Long-Bailey launched a report on alternative models of ownership.

She said its aim was to start asking "fundamental questions about how we achieve real diversity of business in the digital age, and how to ensure that its enormous potential benefits serve the many, not the few".

Long-Bailey has been a vocal critic of Uber and has vowed never to use the taxi-hailing app because she finds it "not morally acceptable". 

While presenting a positive vision of what technology offers society, Long-Bailey pointed out that with half of all jobs threatened by automation it brings the threat of "rising poverty and inequality" and argued that only a Labour government would ensure a fair future.

"There is no doubt about what the digital age will look like under the Tories: monopoly profits for the few and increased exploitation for the many," she claimed.

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