If you’re anything like us, we have slowly started to use ridesharing services more often than cabs, purely out of convenience. While we’ve heard the negative opinions of Uber in particular, it still hasn’t fully convinced us not to use rideshare. This increased use and necessity has started to create some major problems, especially for the drivers.
Drivers have begun to unite and start the conversation of being misclassified employees. Uber currently views their drivers, essentially, as freelancers. The company does not offer benefits to its drivers, and they take out fees for each drive to maintain their profit. That’s where the issue begins.
Drivers are stating the because Uber is in control of the fare rates, they are getting low-balled. Uber aims to stay competitive by offering low rates, and then takes a cut of the driver’s fare. What isn’t being accounted for in these low-rate scenarios is the drivers gas, toll fees, and car maintenance. Drivers are complaining that by the time their work week is over, they aren’t making enough money to feel good about the gig. One driver, Joseph DiNofa, reported that he makes only $80 (USD) per week driving for UberX.
Uber, once boastful about the amount of money drivers can make, finds themselves in the midst of multiple class action lawsuits to remedy the low wages, and mistreatment of drivers.
DiNofa also told magazine, Fast Company, that Uber did not give drivers “itemized wage statements, minimum wages, lawful meal and rest periods, and reimbursement for necessary employment related expenses.”
With the abundance of driver distain toward Uber, what will happen? Only time will tell the true outcome, but several scenarios could realistically unfold.
- If Uber wins the class action lawsuits, and drivers will start to avoid Uber all together, either by joining forces with other rideshare companies, or getting out the game completely?
- Uber will lose their class action lawsuits and drivers will start to be treated differently.
- Consumers of rideshare apps will start to develop feelings either good or bad about rideshare organizations and act accordingly.
Worst case scenario: is that rideshare services could be in some deep trouble. The more drivers complain, and elect not to continue working for these companies, the less popular the apps will become. With too much demand, and not enough products, economics tells us a downward spiral could take place.
Best case scenario: Uber brings drivers on as employees and starts to give fair, livable wages, as well as health benefits.
While labor unions have already begun the fight for the ladder, time will be the only way to tell how this adventure unfolds. What do you think about Uber’s treatment of employees? Do you think it’s fair or unfair?