NELP on Uber’s 180 Day Plan

Following is a statement from Rebecca Smith, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project:

“While it is encouraging that Uber seems to be taking steps to recognize the working conditions of its drivers, the company’s announcement today of plans to improve the driver experience represent at best a bandage on a much deeper problem: Uber’s entire business model. At worst, this plan is yet another effort to turn drivers into profit centers.

“The ‘improvements’ the email promises its drivers largely mimic the irresponsibility of the company’s founder, Travis Kalanick. A new tipping feature set to be unveiled on the Uber app merely passes the responsibility for decent pay onto Uber’s riders—not Uber itself. Rather than paying its payroll taxes and covering drivers under state workers’ compensation systems, Uber is offering drivers the chance to purchase their own insurance. In typical Uber fashion, it appears that the company may even profit from the tips, by using them to pay down car leases.

“Uber continues to pretend it is responding to drivers’ concerns, without really engaging them in a meaningful way. Given its extreme union-busting tactics in Seattle and elsewhere, it’s clear that the company will not tolerate an empowered workforce that negotiates its own wages and working conditions.”

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