This coming weekend, from 10-16 through 10-18 your friendly neighborhood Uber Driver will be on Strike in effort to advise Uber that the Drivers have had enough of the lies, inadequate pay, and blatant abuse by Uber. This will likely mean very little to Uber riders as there will probably be 90% of the drivers unaware that they are supposed to be on strike. Maybe a little Rider participation would be helpful in furtherance of the Uber Drivers cause.
Why should Riders care about the woes of the drivers? Well, maybe because Uber was really cool until Uber started screwing it up.
Uber’s downhill slide started last year, but gained momentum at the first of this year when Uber started their “race to the bottom” which was supposed to be an effort to squash competition by Lyft and SideCar. This was a lie. The claim to be fighting the competition was nothing less than Uber making a calculated grab for the money earned by drivers. Presently Uber is paying their UberX drivers less than a minimum wage to drive, ( except those drivers working in a new market or in a government regulated market ) many far below a minimum wage. Uber makes claims the drivers making excellent wages by use of selected data mining of their database to demonstrate the desired result rather than the truth.
The problem appears to stem from Travis Kalanick’s inability to run a lawful business. Although Kalanick has made himself quite rich, it has all been by less than legal means. So far as I can tell Kalanick has yet to conduct business on any of his business ventures in compliance with local laws and/or ordinance. How this provides him recognition as a “Businessman” is beyond me. I would think that such recognition would be more appropriate awarded someone that conducted lawful business. Of the three business ventures noted for Kalanick, none have yet to be in complete compliance with the law, and I believe all have been contrary to employment requirements. Thus far Kalanick has manipulated, forced, or conned Uber into almost every major city in the US with very little opposition in doing so.
Uber’s plans to disrupt transportation services such as Taxi and Limo services has been very effective in creating a consumer use of Uber’s services, but has been by unfair competition practices ignored by government and law. Our government has allowed Uber to offer the same services as the others at rates far below what it would take to adequately pay their drivers under the claim that Uber is not a transportation company but a Technology company offering different services. Uber is a Taxi Service with computerized dispatch. Contacting a service by voice telephone or computerized telephone is the same thing no matter how limited you computer skillset. If you do not understand this, every time you contact Uber by your SmartPhone just pretend you hear the electronic telephone modem sound as it connects. There is no difference between Uber and the other transport services except that Uber is getting away with undercutting the other services and not paying their drivers while doing so.
In the aforementioned money grab by Uber what Uber has done is claimed that by reduction of driver rates Uber can reduce rider fares increasing ridership and in doing so increase drivers pay. What Uber actually has done is reduced driver rates and rider fares making it a great deal for riders while increasing the drivers expense by 57% for a driver to make the same money previously earned and allowed Uber to double up on the Safe rider Fees as drivers work twice as hard to make a decent income. This week Uber has increased the Safe Rider Fees to be charged to the Rider in many markets completely bypassing any increase in compensation to the Driver. Uber currently receives more money per ride than drivers regardless the Uber/Driver split.
Uber’s plans for disruption of other transportation services threatens the entire American Workforce and may subject our workforce to being reduced from jobs that can support a family to part-time poverty level jobs that cannot support anyone and then ultimately disposing of the worker entirely for replacement by a computer. The US cannot take this type of job loss on a large scale. And, Uber is just the beginning of this attack on the American Workforce. Should Uber be able to disrupt these jobs without opposition or regulation, every land based transportation service in the Country will find themselves primed for disruption. Can you think of one major City/State in the US that has the resources to add from 25,000 to 100,000 new unemployed to their already overburdened unemployment and welfare systems? And these unemployed will not have the ability to fall back on jobs such as driver jobs to hold them over until they find better employment because there won’t be any driver jobs for humans to go to. But, this situation actually gets worse.
After we bankrupt our Cities/States with the additional costs of added unemployed, what do you think it will do to the the US Economy. It is entirely possible that the collapse of the US Economy will be realized. After years of preventing foreign countries from causing such harm to the US Economy, are we really going to allow us to do it to ourselves?
Presently, the only benefit Uber provides to anyone other than their stockholders/investors is poverty. Uber has shirked responsibility of taxation, permits, licensure, compensation to workers, compensation for those displaced, insurance, and every other provision of law that requires an obligation of responsibility. This ultimately has no other choice but to become the responsibility of the American Tax Payer and further burden to Government.
So, how can the Reader/Rider help? Talk to others and share this information. Tell your Uber Driver about the scheduled strike this weekend and the information presented here. And of course, please support your Uber Driver by using another transportation provider this weekend. Lyft is a good alternative to Uber, and believe it or not, most taxi services have improved dramatically from the taxi services we learned to dislike.