I drive for Uber and I’m on strike
I have been an Uber driver for a year and I joined Uber drivers on strike last month. This started in Chicago and has spread all over, and will continue going. We turn off our apps and take no rides for twenty-four hours. It is not mandatory (there is no union for Uber drivers). About half the drivers have joined in. A few drivers have told me they cannot afford to stop taking calls.
Everyone thinks Uber is a voluntary job. What people don’t realize is how the whole Uber system works. Uber pays drivers very little, but its executives became millionaires in the company’s initial public stock offering this spring. They predicted $90 billion. The man who founded the system will make at least $6 billion, even though he’s left the company!
Uber pays its drivers pennies on the mile. The company says they take 20 per cent off every ride, which is a lot for just being a franchise, but the truth is they take as much as 80 per cent. That’s because Uber has become a loan company, too.
That is where the real money is – Uber is really a “payday loan”, on wheels. They target low-income, minority and immigrant drivers who don’t understand what they are signing on to when they sign up. And they are desperate for work.
What they say is, “No credit? No problem, we’ll get you a car lease and get you on the road with no hassle, even if you have no credit. All you do is make a weekly payment from what you earn, and you commit to make 150-200 drives a week for the company.
The problem is, that to meet these quotas a driver has to work six days of twelve hour shifts to clear $600, at the very best. Do office workers have to buy their desk and chair, and pay for them off the top every week?
So when you call for an Uber you are buying into this whole system, please keep that in mind. What if your job was Uberized?