Uber's Chief Advisor Tells Seattleites That Uber Is a Dream Job, Calls Unionization Efforts“Puzzling”

Comments

1
One thing we can all do is to actually tip your uber driver. Bring some cash with you and tip. They bare quite grateful for it and it makes up for the low pay.
2
@1. I agree completely. Watch the hatred flow in the following comments...
3
Fuck Uber, Lyft, Walmart and all other employers that treat their workers like feudal serfs.
4
Rather be serf. Oftentimes lords actually took care of their serfs. Not always, but at least they had job security. I'm getting really tired of never really being sure I can pay next month's rent.
5
Criminal organization with a marketing department.
6
Total BS. Want to see how many drivers are out there working full time? Go to the any airport and you'll find them all sitting there waiting up to 1.5 hours for a ride request at $.85/mile, $.10/minute. Turn on the rider app and see the tons of drivers out there during the day. They look like roaches, just tons everywhere. These aren't part time drivers. These are the many people that have suffered lay offs and are now being exploited by Uber.

A job that once paid a living wage, now requires drivers to drive 80 hours/week to survive. Next time you get in an Uber, ask your driver when he last slept. Uber doesnt kick drivers off the system to take a break and sleep. Lyft does.

8
If Uber wasn't considered by investors as the company that can become the BEST at victimizing its workers, they wouldn't have been able to raise all those billions from the greediest investors who are expecting to get the most return for their dollar, no question asked, no tactics too vile. At $68 billion, their valuation is higher than GM! And why? They have a simple app that get them at least 20% of everything their drivers make (isn't there also a service charge on the rides which most people probably think of as tips, but doesn't go to the drivers?), and almost ZERO overhead and operating costs compared to GM, since they have passed all those costs onto the drivers! So all the greedy and conscience-less investors are expecting a much bigger return for their investments than they can make with companies that aren't as good at robbing their "contractors".

Right now they're trying to kill all competitors by driving the price down, and using the investment money they get to fight lawsuits and government regulations. Once they've succeeded in killing off every other taxi/limo/town car/chauffeur/ride service, then they can raise rates for customers, and increase the 20% to 40%, 70%, whatever, and EVERYONE will have to pay whatever they want, because NO ONE has any other CHOICE. People who need rides will have to use them, and there are always immigrants and plenty of other poor and desperate people who will have to drive for them, as long as all our profit-uber-alles companies keep sending jobs to China, India etc, where wages and overhead are cheaper - because cost of living is much lower, and workers have no union or government protection, no benefits, breaks, overtime pay, employment laws, child labor laws expectations or hope of anything better - so the workplace doesn't have to have any pesky costly things like heat, water, cleaning, toilets, fire exits, safe construction requirements etc.

DF is already touting what a great job it is for stay-at-home parents and people who need to work more than one full time job - translation: mothers, immigrants, women, single parents, young, poor, minorities, minimum wage workers without a set schedule and guaranteed hours. Yep, just a perfect job for the poor people who have employers that send them home when there's not "enough" business: fast food, NORDSTROM, other greedy and conscience-less businesses feeding on their workers' miseries,hopelessness and despair.

As long as the only thing WE care about is paying the least for whatever we want - clothes, food, services, electronics, transport, airfare, all the junk we don't need - then Uber investors are correct, Uber will rake it in, and they will get $$$ return for their investments, and the American workers will work longer and longer hours for less and less money, and get sicker and die younger - which actually will be a blessing for them, since they can NEVER stop working, with no pension and the Repubs busy stripping away all social safety net and privatizing Social Security and Medicare. Our society will have more domestic violence, more divorces, more angry fucked-up children, more suicides, more mass shootings, more domestic terrorists, more people willing to blow themselves up for the chance that being DEAD IS BETTER than their current lives. Brave new world!

MONEY is our God. That's our exceptionalism. USA! USA!

BTW, trolls and bigots, don't bother. I never read your posts - word crimes and moronic blather are my trigger warnings! Y'all are probably ISIS plants, with your broken English and incomprehensible posts, and links to God-knows-what phishing scams!

9
When is the Stranger going to unionize? Hate to see them run out of jobs like their Weekly counterparts.
10
You know, I'm with the notion that people who do a good job should be paid a fair wage. I'm not really sure Uber's model scales to that very well... but maybe some smart people can get together and figure something out.

But the notion that Uber shouldn't be able to deactivate drivers who its system flags as problems just really fucking pisses me off. The standard I expect is not "don't kidnap me". The standard i expect is get me there safely, politely, and comfortably. Uber's rating system ensures this, and they've done a lot to refine the algorithms they use to make sure it's as even-handed as it can be.

Customer experience quality suffering because the union makes sure that even the shittiest drivers get to keep their jobs despite the fact that customers routinely complain is unacceptable. It's wag the dog. One of the greatest innovations in Uber was the driver rating system. It's what drove customer service up and encouraged everyone to jump ship on the cab companies. I hope Uber never caves on their right to hire and fire at will.

As a consumer, I absolutely do not now and never will care about someone's job security if I'm paying for a level of service I don't receive. I don't need you to kiss my toes. I do expect you to be friendly, stay off your motherfucking phone (!!! - former cabbies, I'm looking at you), drive comfortably (this is the reason I most frequently downvote drivers... on and off the gas, or hammering on the brakes for no damn reason), and keep your car well-maintained and clean. Uber's ability to respond to customer complaints by culling drivers who don't meet standards is what makes Uber better than the bullshit Orange and Yellow Cab spent years taking our money for. Killing that in order to protect people who refuse to do those basic things is the opposite of progress and if Uber caves and quality drops, I'll gladly take my business (and whatever money even the good drivers might've gotten paid) elsewhere. I will not pay for bad service... especially not just to keep the motherfucking bleeding hearts happy.
11
@10, you say "I'm with the notion that people who do a good job should be paid a fair wage," then you bash unions. How do you think people who do a good job get a fair wage? Unions are the last major force keeping together what's left of the American middle class. It's clear you don't care how Uber drivers are treated or if they're paid fairly.
12
The fact that a former Obama advisor is anti-union isn't any shock. Obama took union endorsements and campaign funds, but all Federal workers got out of him were wage freezes and declining morale. Meanwhile, his administration let Wall Street criminals off with fines. Unions need to have higher standards in who they support if they want to turn things around.
13
@10 you're not making sense - under Uber a good driver and bad driver get paid exactly the same. (Unless you tip, and you don't seem to be like someone who would based on your writing)
14
@1 I totally agree, but I've heard an alarming number of reports from Uber drivers so adamant about being tipped that they actually give passengers low ratings (often one-star) if they refuse to do so. THAT I have a problem with. Like it or not, Uber is a company that not only has a formal no-tipping program, but also incorporates it as a core element of its marketing. I don't agree with it in the least -- in fact, it's nearly the entire reason why I use Lyft instead whenever possible -- but penalizing *passengers* for your employer's shitty actions is as passive-aggressive as it is pointless.

@6 You're totally correct ... except not about Uber or Lyft drivers. You did, however, just explain the life of the American taxi driver circa 2015. The *real* difference between them and Uber/Lyft is that they have to pay a flat fee to "sublease" either a permit, medallion and/or car on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the market, and as such nearly all of them have no choice but to work full-time (and well beyond).

I'm not sure how the discussion -- either in the blog itself or its comments -- ended up focused on Uber's full-time drivers, who comprise 15% of their total at most. (And yes, @6: despite your anecdotal data, I do know this for a fact.) Over 80% work fewer than 20 hours a week, and around half work fewer than 10. To be that's one of the main *points* of it all: the flexibility to work when there's actually work to be *had*, versus spending 2-3 hours waiting for fares at Sea-Tac or wherever.

@8, that's certainly the most cynical way of looking at the topic, but I'm afraid you lapse into melodrama and hyperbole at several points:

"They have a simple app that get them at least 20% of everything their drivers make"

Their "simple" app is run by a veritable phalanx of computers that can simultaneously monitor ongoing rides and ride requests for THREE MILLION CARS simultaneously. Furthermore, it keeps an accurate running tab of each ride -- in 300+ cities, each with different ride rates -- and emails passengers an accurate receipt within a minute of them exiting the vehicle. Uber is only "simple" in the same context as, say, an iPhone: simple in concept and simple to use, but in reality the company has spent literally *billions* to *get* it that simple (and offer as close to 100% uptime as it gets).

"So all the greedy and conscience-less investors are expecting a much bigger return for their investments than they can make with companies that aren't as good at robbing their "contractors"."

First, Uber is not only *not* making any returns, it's hemorrhaging money right now -- to a significant degree because they've been subsidizing driver income in so many markets, either through hiring incentives or guaranteed hourly minimums. Second, if you want to see an industry *truly* robbing its employees, try taxicabs.

"Right now they're trying to kill all competitors by driving the price down, and using the investment money they get to fight lawsuits and government regulations."

Uber is now regulated -- without complaint -- in nearly every U.S. market. Moreover, they haven't fought most of these regulations. The lawsuits being filed against them are mainly from the various taxi cartels claiming "unfair competition," and nearly all of them have been tossed on summary judgment

"Once they've succeeded in killing off every other taxi/limo/town car/chauffeur/ride service, then they can raise rates for customers, and increase the 20% to 40%, 70%, whatever, and EVERYONE will have to pay whatever they want, because NO ONE has any other CHOICE."

Uh-uh. For starters, we have this thing called the Sherman Antitrust Act that prohibits monopolies. Second, you're fallaciously assuming they *will* kill off the competition, despite their considerable competition (Lyft in particular, at least in the U.S.). Even in the hypothetical instance where they did, they'd face new market entrants charging vastly lower prices.

"How do you think people who do a good job get a fair wage?"

How do you think people who work on a for-hire basis earn a "wage" of *any* kind? (Answer: they don't.)
15
Uber and the sharing economy make sense if apartment (sorry, apodment) rents were to fall to $50 a month.

That is, everyone is ok with the cost of labor going into a low wage piecemeal status, but we never talk about driving the big ticket costs of living down at the same time.

Where are the:

Uber Homes
Uber Food
Uber Education
Uber Clothes

Give us those and hell yeah, we can all be a cabby five hours a month to pay for it all and spend the rest of the month in the Uber Cafe sipping an Uber flat white for 50 cents.

17
This one isn't complicated. Uber drivers are Uber employees. The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industry has the power to make this determination. Why aren't our state legislators calling for this?
18
This just in, news company which does not allow unionization or hire union workers criticizes other company for same practice, pictures at 11.
19
Solution = buy a car
20
@Mud Baby: My thoughts exactly. Also, here's more on why Uber is a shitty company: Nailed It! How Uber Takes Passengers And…
21
@Corydon: What makes you think Bernard Sanders (the person I suspect you want to see succeed in the upcoming election) would be great as POTUS? He's a washout on the campaign trail so far, and his record as a senator/congressman has been abysmal, to say the least. Like Obama/Clinton or not, Obama has been a progressive president, and has succeeded at reversing most of what's happened to the USA, as this list shows.