Uber claims that the drivers that work for them are Independent Contractors and not employees because the drivers can work when they want . . . There are folks that claim that drivers are free to work the hours of their choice and that Uber does not control the drivers work schedule. Right, really? What are “surges””,”guarantee’s,”and other “pay incentives?” If I wanted to control my workforce to work certain hours, certain days of the week, in certain areas of the City . . . What would I do? First, I would reduce the workers pay rate to poverty level. Then if I wanted the workers to work at 8:00 to 12:00 PM in the Sunset, I would manipulate a “surge” during that time frame, in the Sunset and watch the workers flock to me. What people fail to realize is control by manipulation, is still control.
When this subject is discussed within the many court rooms that Uber will occupy in the near future, I believe that everyone will agree that Uber allows their workers to work the hours they choose to work. I doubt anyone will even raise a red flag over the many manipulations used by Uber to control the workers, but do not fool yourself, Uber is a real good manipulator that takes advantage of any avenue they discover available to them. Let’s look at a few of their best manipulations:
- First is Uber Logic which tries to convince you that any resource you would have regardless of working with Uber should not be considered an expense working for Uber.
- This is the logic that says you already have a car payment, insurance payment, cell phone bill, and etc. obligation so they should not be included in your Uber expenses.
- Surges are escalated rider fares based upon the idea of supply and demand. The more the need, the higher the surge escalating the amount the rider has to pay for the ride.
- Guarantees are put in place to provide drivers a set hourly rate provided the driver meet all the criteria of the guarantee. Guarantees usually come with some requirement that makes it easy to disqualify yourself from the guarantee and are only guaranteed should you make less than the guaranteed rate offered.
- Share Percentage Reduction
- This is Lyft’s idea. If their drivers work in excess of so many hours Lyft reduces the amount of the percentage that Lyft takes from the fares collected. How this works is if the driver works a set amount of hours, say 30 I a week then the driver pays no percentage share to Lyft.
- Gas Card
- This is Uber’s way of having drivers work a minimum amount of hours, or trips per say. You can use a Uber gas card for which they will deduct your fuel expense from your weekly earnings. They say use of the card saves the driver 10 to 15% on the fuel cost. But, to qualify to keep and use the card the driver must make a minimum of 200 trips per month.
So, if you believe that the workers are free to work when they want and where they want, you are wrong. The choice is not if you can choose the hours you work, but if you want to make money or not. The manipulations provide at least a small opportunity to earn higher earnings than not participating in the manipulations. Presently Nation-Wide there is actions taking place in many States to resolve the intentional abuse of Independent Contractors by the employers that exploit their workers. They should name the new legislation the “Kalanick Labor Law” as Travis Kalanick will be responsible for the required changes to labor laws to prevent corporations from taking advantage of the Independent Contractor/Employee worker classes. I am sure Kalanick will make lots of friends with the rest of Corporate America for this.