Uber Drivers on Global Strike
Uber drivers are striking in many cities across the world including cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sydney. The drivers are doing this in the anticipation of Uber’s stock market debut on the US Stock Exchange. They are exasperated about a reduced driving commission, underpay as well as inequitable firing. Uber drivers have been receiving plummeted pay while the company is speculated to be valued at more than whopping $90 billion.
Uber has been slashing its drivers pay to augment its bottom line for the humongous stock market debut. The drivers in response have turned their apps off. They demand higher fare prices, a decrease in Uber’s cut (from 25 percent to 15 percent) and better working conditions. Uber classifies its employees as individual contractors rather than employees. This robs the drivers of certain benefits like paid breaks, health insurance, etc. and helps Uber save that money. Classifying them as employees will need changes in Uber’s business model. Uber’s IPO prospectus mentioned- “While we aim to provide an earnings opportunity comparable to that available in retail, wholesale, or restaurant services or other similar work, we continue to experience dissatisfaction with our platform from a significant number of Drivers. In particular, as we aim to reduce Driver incentives to improve our financial performance, we expect Driver dissatisfaction will generally increase.”
The better employment terms that Drivers are asking for are not privileges but their rights. The drivers chose the right time to protest, just ahead of Uber’s IPO, touted to be one of the largest public offerings to date.