Saturday, October 31, 2015

Uber Drivers Union and Why they should Unionize


Uber drivers are going Union

Why the Uber drivers want to Unionize – The reasons the drivers list for their desire to unionize are very similar to most workers who join unions; exploitive practices by employers, including unfair pay, arbitrary firing policies, and in the case of Uber drivers claims of racial discrimination.
Another major concern of Uber drivers everywhere is liability insurance. Currently, Uber requires the drivers to bear the responsibility  and expense) of liability insurance. This is a big deal financially since regular personal  liability does not cover a driver or vehicle being used in a rid-for-hire situation. The cost for commercial liability insurance is typically 3-4 times as much as personal liability insurance, forcing some drivers to choose between quitting Uber or driving around under insured or even not insured at all.
The driver rating system has also come under fire. Uber drivers get rated by their passengers, which is normally not a problem. The thing is, the current system does not allow drivers to challenge bad reviews, such as negative reviews from drunk passengers who file inaccurate, and undeserved, negative reviews. It has also been said that unscrupulous drivers will sabotage other drivers’ ratings by having bogus negative reviews submitted either by themselves or by people they hire to ride in and negatively review other drivers’ performance.
By unionizing, the drivers hope to be able to address, and correct, many of these issues.

The Teamsters Union is lending a hand – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is one of the largest, most powerful , and well known unions in the world. With their immense resources and vast experience, they will be a formidable adversary for Uber to do battle with.  A recent demonstration by over 500 Uber drivers  in front of the Santa Monica CA Uber offices made headlines throughout California and throughout the rest of the country as well.

Ubers response to the drivers efforts to Unionize – Uber claims that the drivers are not employees but rather are software licensees, and thus do not constitute a legal bargaining unit and so are not eligible for membership in the Teamsters, or any, union. This sleazy tactic has been used before by slave driving, selfish companies who don’t seem to care about the happiness or welfare of their drivers or employees.
 An Uber spokesperson recently told a reporter from VentureBeat that “If an Uber driver wants to make a change they can talk to us directly- they don’t need a bogus organization like this to do that”.   It is exactly this kind of arrogant, selfish attitude which is rapidly eroding the public image Uber presents and causing drivers to unite and unionize. Exploitation of this type has been attempted, and declared illegal many times in the history of labor relations in the United States. It often happens that rival companies in the same trade will emerge with a business model more favorable to the workers and drive companies like Uber out of business entirely. If that should happen to Uber it will be exactly what they deserve for so blatantly and greedily disregarding the rights of the very drivers who have put them in the position to be valued at billions of dollars. The day of the capitalistic robber barons has long passed, and it is high time that invasive parasites like the people running Uber are made to conform to the law of the land just like every other business in America is required to do.  California Lawsuits – A number of lawsuits currently pending in the California legal system will help to determine the future of the drivers’  union status, and the future of Uber  itself; California Assembly Bill 2293, for instance, addresses the liability insurance issue and is being steadfastly opposed by Uber. With an estimated value exceeding 18 Billion dollars, Uber can and does retain powerful legal guns to oppose these court challenges. Only time will tell who will prevail- justice and fairness or money and clout. Hopefully Uber will be forced to adopt practices that are both legal and ethical and begin treating their drivers more fairly in the future. This would include addressing issues such as job security, liability insurance, false promises made to recruit new drivers and all of the other topics which have garnered Uber negative headlines all across the nation.

Conclusion – With the powerful Teamsters union on their side, and the spate of legal challenges cropping up in California and elsewhere across the nation, many feel  that it is only a matter of time until the drivers prevail against Uber and get accepted as a union organization.  Historically the courts in California and in other states as well have sided on the side of the employee (A district court in Frankfurt Germany even went as far as to ban Uber from operating anywhere in Germany for infringing on the operation of legit, legal cabs. After nearly a month an appellate court eventually lifted the ban due to a legal technicality). If this prediction of redemption for the drivers and unions becomes a reality, it will undoubtedly change the playing field, and force Uber to play fairly or get out of the ride for hire business altogether. There is little doubt that Lyft drivers are soon to follow with lawsuits and unionization attempts of their own if the Uber drivers prevail in their attempt to be treated fairly. I for one cannot wait for this day of reckoning to come!

please watch this:



26 comments:

  1. Where and how can I join Uber driver union?
    thx
    uberx driver in Tampa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Putting perfume on a skunk only masks it's foul odor!

      Delete
  2. "AnonymousMay 8, 2014 at 9:26 PM
    NP, thanks, ---Uber drivers are all happy

    Delete

    AnonymousMay 17, 2014 at 6:00 AM
    just wait until couple of hundred more suckers sign up with UBER and Lyft....
    ......then you'll start to understand what unregulated taxi market and oversupply of cabs mean.......LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGES FOR DRIVERS, POOR QUALITY SERVICE, ETC
    Eventually, market will start to regulate itself with "Supply and demand", but in meantime there will be a lot of suffering..."

    read more at:

    http://saint-petersburg-florida-taxi.blogspot.com/2014/03/marco-rubio-r-screw-florida-cab-drivers.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They will flood the market and Ubers will really feel the sting that legitimate cab companies are feeling.

      Delete
  3. Rideshare drivers are forming their own union, but Uber claims the organization is “bogus.”

    Over the weekend, hundreds of Uber drivers met to elect leaders for an App-Based Drivers’ Association. 500 drivers expressed interest in joining the union, the Seattle Times reports, in affiliation with a chapter of the highly aggressive Teamsters union.

    Unionization efforts among a subset of Uber drivers aren’t new, particularly in Washington. Among the alleged reasons behind the new organization, chief complaints include the following claims:

    read more at:

    http://venturebeat.com/2014/05/20/uber-claims-new-app-based-drivers-union-is-bogus/

    ReplyDelete
  4. "....As he drives around San Francisco for Uber, the startup company that uses mobile apps to connect passengers with drivers for hire, Ramzi Reguii tells me about his job. He loves the flexible hours, he’s so glad to have this opportunity, he’s even impressed with Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick’s corporate vision.

    Then he tells me that Uber changes its commission rates at a moment’s notice, cutting into drivers’ incomes, that the company doesn’t insure drivers when they’re doing what he is right now — looking for a fare.

    “It’s just snowballing,” he says. “The public won’t do anything, the regulators won’t do anything. The only way it can be changed is by uniting the drivers together.”

    Reguii recently launched the Drivers Network, a loose-knit union of drivers for Uber and Lyft (another car service) that currently boasts more than 1,000 members. “Travis Kalanick came up with an idea to change an industry that longed to be changed,” he tells me. “Guess what? This is the same thing.”

    read more at :

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/6/uber-sharing-economyunionstaxis.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Miami
    "Local UberX Driver Says Working for Company Is a Rip-Off

    When Miami native Jahrvone Bentley heard UberX was coming to his city, he thought driving for the company would be a good way to earn some cash.

    Three weeks later he's disgusted. "They don't care about the drivers," he tells Riptide. "The drivers are losing."

    UberX is a division of the popular San Francisco startup Uber, an app-based cab-like service that uses professional drivers in sleek black cars. But UberX functions in a way similar to ride-sharing, allowing the app users to book rides on the cheap from people who aren't licensed cabbies but have registered to work as drivers for the company.

    See also: UberX Will Launch in Miami Today, Defying Miami-Dade's Taxi Laws

    In very public defiance of local officials, who say the company illegally undercuts licensed local cab drivers, UberX launched in Miami June 4. (Uber's other services, Uber Black and Uber Taxi, so far remain unavailable in the Magic City.)......."

    read more at:
    http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2014/06/local_uberx_driver_says_working_for_company_is_a_rip_off.php



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the city enforces the law the politicians on the take are just changing it at the state level.

      Delete
  6. Florida needs taxi driver union like they have in Las Vegas to defend industry from uber, lyft and crooked politicians.
    Only union can get all the cab companies in Florida together to act as ONE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the way to do business with taxi companies, uber and Lyft

      "Las Vegas, Nevada (May 1, 2013) – Taxi drivers represented by the Industrial, Technical and Professional Employees Union (ITPEU)/OPEIU Local 4873 have won their sixty-day strike at Yellow Checker Star Transportation (YCS) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new contract includes an increase in the drivers’ share of the meter, reinstatement of eligibility for the four-day work week of 12 hours per day and 10-hour per day shifts, increases in annual bonuses and other benefits.

      In all, the union negotiated sixteen wage and benefit changes to the collective bargaining agreement.

      Representatives from the union and YCS will sign the contract tomorrow morning (Thursday, May 2) at 9 a.m. (PST) at the YCS Corporate Headquarters at 5225 W. Post Road, Las Vegas.

      “I’m extremely proud of the fact that we have the loyal support of so many drivers, all of whom are the heart and soul of this struggle,” said OPEIU International President Michael Goodwin. “These drivers, although enduring a great deal of personal hardship, stood together and proved that through solidarity and collective bargaining, workers can improve their quality of life.” "

      read more at

      http://www.opeiu.org/Home/tabid/37/ctl/ArticleView/mid/1886/articleId/374/Taxi-Drivers-Win-60-Day-Strike-At-Yellow-Checker-Star-Transportation.aspx

      Delete
    2. It really boils down to corporate greed and how much the politicians can extort from these criminal enterprises.

      Delete
  7. "The drivers can talk to us directly"

    What a load of bull. I drove for Uber for a couple of months when they first started in Tampa Bay. I never spoke with an actual human being once during that time. Not during the hiring process, not when I was working. Not when I tried to point out a few things wrong with their operation (generic phone #'s, software changes, other policy changes without any driver notification). It was always an e-mail, which was replied to, stating the company line a few days later.

    Try to point out a problem for drivers and customers, and you get a canned response on how it's supposed to work. Never mind that it doesn't work at all.

    They had potential, but they're going to devour themselves with their own cocksure attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Right now I am driving for Discount Taxi in St Petersburg, making ~ $120-200 a day with lease less than $300 a week and I am happy camper, because I use company car at $2.10 a mile or 50 cents a minute waiting time.+ tips

    Sergio Leone/ former uberX driver in St Petersburg Florida
    F&^% UberX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are full of S^%$# dude,
      I Actually drive for Discount Taxi in St Pete and we have 4 cab drivers with 4 cabs and your name is not on the list..... what do you try to accomplish by lying on this blog?

      Delete
    2. And it works.Long hours perhaps but a 6 day week and maybe 40 to 50 thousand a year.

      Delete
  9. Most uber drivers received 1099 forms today from uber via email
    I would love to see their faces, especially those who drove for uber part time while working on jobs which paid +40K a year

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like Uber is going to start losing some of their profit margin.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think Uber is really starting to scramble for drivers. They probably can't keep any.

    I worked for them for a couple of hours a week last year, but I quit in August when they cut their rates to the bone....again. After a couple of months, I finally managed to get them to stop sending me texts and e-mails, because I had no interest in working for them anymore.

    Then, out of the blue 6 months later, I get a couple of texts urging me to go out that night and make some money.

    No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Couple of days ago I went to Orlando airport in my cab for $190 + tip (a very low rate) and out of curiosity while there I checked uber rates going back to St Pete, to where I just came from, an 105 mile ride....uber app said $90-$110 ,,,(tip included), that's about $0.90 a mile and you are using your own car putting a lot of miles on it......
      are ubere drivers stupid ? I guess so, if they can not figure out, that driving for uber is less than minimum wage gig

      ex-uber driver in Tampa Bay

      Delete
  12. I don't know very much about unions so this was pretty interesting. I suppose it's important for all workers to feel like they should be treated fairly. One nice thing about our country is that we allow people to work for their dreams. Maybe I should find someone who can teach me more about unions. http://www.cope378.ca/about/union-structure

    ReplyDelete
  13. Union always fight for the welfare of the employees so this union will also fight for the uber drives welfare. so starting a union is a good news for uber's driver.

    ReplyDelete
  14. If some one want to do something different except than uber taxi service and driving staff have to work as professional way make a better plan and build a page and web where are thing can be discussed from the worldwide then there will be some thing happened metro airport cars

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm in Orlando Florida.65cent per miles can't work. We the drivers are slaving for a billionaire company. Plus tourists spend 1000s of dollars to come Florida and the can't give drivers a tip. I need to join. Contact that me. monty_realty.realty.ali.gmail.com

    ReplyDelete