Tag Archives: uber

Taxi Drivers Worldwide Rally Against Uber

Taxi drivers in cities around the globe continue protest against Uber. Hundreds of New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance drivers protested outside the New York State governor’s office in Manhattan, demanding he drop plays to give transportation companies like Uber a special law to allow them to dispatch fares to private motorists in personal cars. In Edmonton, Canada, shirtless taxi drivers interrupted a council meeting on the subject, while the city of Vancouver has passed a moratorium on Uber. Brussel taxi driver’s, furious over Uber’s launch of a service allowing private car owners to carry passengers, participated in a 1,000-taxi parade from Brussels North station to a press conference at Place Schumann.

International Transportation Workers’ Federation (ITF) Secretary Mac Urata says: “This coordinated union and employer action demonstrates the strength of anger around the world about Uber and other so-called ‘ride-share’ operators, which use private vehicles. We fear they put at risk the welfare of their drivers, the safety of passengers, and the livelihoods of millions of regulated taxi drivers. The ITF, the EFT [IFT Europe], and their affiliates are determined to put a stop to Uber’s illegal actions and bring them to the level playing field with the rest of the taxi industry.

Taxi Worker Alliance Responds to Uber

New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai responded to Uber Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy David Plouffe’s assertion on CBS that the vast majority of Uber drivers are part-time employees who don’t rely on Uber for their main source of income.

“This proliferation of part-time work comes at the expense of drivers already working full-time on the job,” says Desai, citing Uber’s model of having an unending number of vehicles. “If you only create part-time work, then you lower incomes, have unending competition, and fragment the work day and call that flexibility.”

“Workers struggling to make ends meet—something getting harder with more congestion and unending competition—shouldn’t be an after-thought,” he says. Uber has called US labor laws antiquated, seeking to abolish the system that has been built to protect taxi and limo drivers over the years.

Uber Faces Class-Action Driver Suit

Uber is trying to quash a class-action suit by drivers who claim they are employees and not independent contractors. The company claims the more than 160,000 American drivers control their own use of the Uber app and are therefore contractors. While the California Labor Commission has said that Uber drivers are employees and not contractors, the chair of New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission says her agency considers drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber to be freelance workers, not employees. Five other states have ruled similarly. Classifying Uber drivers as employees would mean higher costs for the company, as it would likely need to pay Social Security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance.