Court Rules Tada Drivers Are Not Workers | Be Korea-savvy

Court Rules Tada Drivers Are Not Workers

A Tada van runs on a road in downtown Seoul. (Yonhap)

A Tada van runs on a road in downtown Seoul. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, July 12 (Korea Bizwire)A Seoul court ruled that an administrative labor agency’s decision to recognize the drivers of the ride-hailing service Tada as workers should be canceled.

The Seoul Administrative Court on Friday ruled in favor of SOCAR, the parent company of Tada operator VCNC, that filed a suit against the National Labor Relations Commission to seek the cancellation of the latter’s retrial ruling on relief of unfair dismissals.

The court said, “The defendants, formerly drivers of Tada, 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 added, “The defendants, based on orders placed by Tada service users, drove the car from the pickup place to the drop-off destination. It is groundless to claim that the defendants’ work was determined unilaterally by the plaintiff.”

The court stressed that the content of their work, including pickup place, drop-off destination and the route taken, were determined based on the orders placed by customers and the drivers had the right to decide whether or not to accept the order.

VCNC, which operated Tada under freelance contracts with drivers, dismissed about 70 drivers in July 2019 based on the need to reduce the number of vehicles.

The defendants, accordingly, applied for relief of unfair dismissal with the National Labor Relations Commission, claiming that they were unilaterally dismissed after working under the supervision and management of VCNC.

Tada currently operates a taxi-hailing app after its popular van-hailing service was scrapped in April, 2020 due to a new legislation backed by taxi drivers.

J. S. Shin (

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