Do you know why they can? Because we will not quit fucking around and unify to take it to them before they take it from us.
One of the most frustrating things about working in the Ride-Hail Industry (TNC’s) is the lack of regard Uber and other TNC’s show their Independent Contractor Drivers. After reading the subject article, I am just angry as hell that something has not been done to stop this abuse of the American Worker. Most UberX drivers are not earning a minimum wage for their efforts and the rest of the Uber drivers are working for less than fair market value for the services they provide. Uber Riders are enjoying the best fares the Country has ever seen, and Uber has doubled their income, both off the backs of the drivers who are struggling day by day to make it.
Why is this allowed to continue? It is not because Uber is a multi-billion dollar corporation. It is not because Travis Kalanick has too much power. It is because the drivers working for the TNC’s are failing to unify to protect themselves from the likes of Uber and Kalanick. Most of the drivers believe that because they are Independent Contractors they have no rights and because Independent Contractors are not considered employees they are not protected by State and Federal labor laws. But, they may be wrong.
When the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was drafted, there was no intent for Corporate America to create a position to circumvent the protections of the Act. Thus workers employed as Independent Contractors must be compensated at fair market value for the services performed. Uber’s blatant abuse of the Independent Contractor position and intentional inadequate compensation of the drivers is guaranteed to become a point of serious legal discussion in the near to immediate future. Per the Bureau Of Labor Statistics wages for Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs for 2014 (see below):
The Uber “Because we can” mentality is an offense to drivers nation-wide as the drivers are the only true income producing faction for any of the TNC companies and feel that they should be earning adequately to support themselves and their families. Independent Contractors are not supposed to be paid less than their equivalent employee position, but the same plus a mark up of approximately 25%, less the taxation and benefits an employee would earn. This would be the money paid to create payroll for the Independent Contractor. Additional payment for expenses to do the job also is required. Paying drivers less is contrary to every labor law in the united States and believe it or not . . . A driver that maintains accurate records including hours worked per day can file a complaint with the Labor Board for any difference in wages the Independent Contractor is able to pay himself.
But, the driver’s problem is not even what they are being paid. The driver’s problem is their failure to unify and confront the TNC’s to demand adequate compensation and take the necessary legal action should such be denied. This is why Uber and the other TNC’s can run rough-shod over 300,000 drivers nation-wide and get away with it. And, this is what needs to be fixed first.
DRIVERS! JOIN AN ASSOCIATION – ASSOCIATIONS UNIFY