Since November 2016, Uber has slashed prices by up to 25 percent for pickups in smaller, older cars; introduced ‘upfront fares’ which drivers claim do not take into account heavy traffic or any stops the customer asks them to make; and started accepting cash payments, which drivers say is leading to a growth in unpaid fares.
The national co-ordinating committee of the ITF’s unions in India has urged the New Delhi transport minister to ensure that ‘regulators closely scrutinise the business model of Uber, Ola Cabs and similar ride-sharing schemes which circumvent regulations’. It accuses the companies of depriving their drivers of employment rights by mis-classifying them as partners or independent contractors, rather than employees. It urges the city government to ensure that the drivers’ wages, working and social conditions are regulated through a collective agreement with Uber and Ola Cabs.
Meanwhile, the 19,000-strong New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) said in a solidarity message to the drivers in India and Qatar that it saluted their ‘courage, determination, loyalty to each other, and your passion for a world that is just to workers’.
Mac Urata, ITF inland transport sections secretary and automation co-ordinator, commented: “Automation and digitalisation often have genuine business objectives, such as better efficiency in operations for higher productivity. But in the case of Uber, it is clear that the disruption of the taxi industry is their priority. That’s why it was such an important matter for debate at the recent TUAC meeting.”
The ITF told the Trade Union Forum on Digitalisation and the Future of Work, which was hosted by the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD on 15-16 February, that Uber and its negative impact on workers was highly relevant to their debate.
Add your voice to the NYTWA’s social media campaign using #DeleteUber greed.
Email Uber with this message: I stand with striking Uber drivers in Qatar & India. STOP hurting migrant workers. Sit down with striking drivers and negotiate NOW. #DeleteUber greed.
In September 2016 the ITF organised an international meeting on the threat to workers of ‘Ubernomics’. Read more.
The ITF and ITUC welcomed the recent UK Uber legal ruling.