Uber Needs An Association, Union, or Both!

UberEvery large corporation that has a large amount of workers needs an Association or Union to represent the workers in adversarial and contract negotiations. It is simply a “must do” situation.

  • There is no way that the Company can interact with so many workers individually, and the Company has declined discussion of contract renegotiation on an individual basis.
  • In order for a Representative to discuss our contract with the Company, a worker organization (Association, Union, or Both) must be formed and the workers must collectively vote to approve  a Representative to represent them. In other words, none of the current Associations can legally represent us until such time as we approve their doing so by our vote.
  • Without an Association or Union to represent the workers, the Company can and will continue to exploit the workers to the Company’s advantage without concern for the worker, or any form of legal action as the time necessary to bring a legal action to fruit is far longer than the period of time a worker will continue working under present conditions.

There are many reasons for workers to need representation while employed by Uber and the other TNC’s.

  • Pay: Presently most UberX level cars are paid ridiculous rates, leaving most affected drivers making less than a minimum wage and others actually earning a negative income while Uber lies to them, telling them they are making fantastic incomes.
    • All of the differing car levels earn far less than those “for hire” cars working independent of Uber and the other TNC’s.
    • All of the differing car levels working with Uber and the other TNC’s are subjected to Company imposed rate changes that negatively effect the workers incomes without the worker having any rights of discussion or true choice of opposition. This is contrary to law and as we have no representative to challenge this, it will continue
  • Adverse Actions: Be it by Rider Rating or the TNC’s taking punitive act against workers, workers are blocked from use of the TNC’s Applications without any form of “due process” or right to respond to allegations of inadequacy made by Riders via the Application.
    • The Driver Rating System in use by the TNC’s pretty much allow anybody that is having a bad day, jacked up on booze or drugs, competing car service, or just somebody that wants to be a “jerk” to cause the termination of a worker, and the worker is powerless to do anything about it. This is an unacceptable practice.
    • Just like an accused has the right to his day in Court, so should any worker. The worker needs representation to ensure any adverse action by the Company is fair to all involved.

I can continue making note of issues that need to be voiced to the TNC’s, but we all know that there are many. The point I am trying to make, is in order for the worker performing services for the TNC’s to evolve as necessary for the future, there must be a Representative with the authority to represent the workers. There is no other way for such evolution to occur. Left without such representation the workers will be further exploited by the TNC’s.

What the TNC Worker needs to understand is the workers DO have rights. And, unlike most jobs in which there has been established a “standard” that provides expectations of the parameters of such job, the standard for TNC Workers has not yet been set. Because of this, the TNC Worker has the ability to have his/her voice heard when developing such standard. But, the TNC Worker will never be heard without a Representative to carry the workers voice to the negotiation table. It matters not how many times you do work stoppage, strike, demonstration, or other act. If you have nobody there to speak in your behalf, to be your voice, to make requests in your behalf . . .  You have nothing.

The TNC Workers are the only true income producing part of the company. As it presently stands, the only parts of the Company to benefit from the income produced by the workers is the Owners and Investors of the company. Nobody else receives anything worthy of the work performed by the workers. Jobs that previously were adequately compensated to allow the support of a family have been reduced to part-time, no benefit poverty level jobs. There is no benefit to working for the TNC’s that make working for the TNC’s better than previous jobs that have been disrupted. So why are the TNC Companies getting so much support from the public?

One of the primary reasons Uber gets so much support from the public is because Travis Kalanick consistently challenges authority:

  • It is easy to challenge authority when you have a panel of attorneys and enough money to pay them.
  • Uber’s Investors have invested in a barrel of legal challenges.
  • Uber violates almost every legal requirement by local authority

Many see this challenge to lawful authority as a brave and intelligent move made by Kalanick. But as we look the situation over it becomes clear that Kalanick does not follow any of the rules applicable to business:

  • Uber does not treat their workers fairly. Many workers are working well below  local minimum wage laws.
  • Uber may have misclassified thousands of workers as Independent Contractors that may actually be Employees.
  • Uber forces the workers accept a “non-negotiable contract” with unenforceable inclusions that leave the workers trapped in a negative financial situation.
  • Uber fails to follow accepted expense guidelines to determine drivers expenses, choosing instead to make their own expense figures which do not consider long term expenses.
  • Uber does not use an actual real time of workers time performing tasks when computing driver incomes, instead using the time when the worker has a rider in their vehicle only as the time considered worked.
  • Uber does not consider mileage or time required to service a rider, either prior to or after the time the rider in the vehicle.

How Uber is able to force their way into the City’s of the world lacks ethics, and is unfair to the other companies providing service to the City:

  • One of the strongest selling points for Uber is they are faster to the rider than existing Taxi Services. But, nobody actually considers that the Taxi/Limo services are restricted by the amount of cars they can put on the road due to local PUC requirements. This allows the TNC Companies to put thousands of cars on the roads vs hundreds put on the roads by Taxi/Limos. Uber has claimed this success as valid but the intent of Uber was to reduce the amount of vehicles on the road in our cities, when Uber and the other TNC’s have actually flooded our city streets by the thousands with their workers cars causing additional congestion and adversely effecting drivers ability to earn a reasonable income.

Uber is disrupting thousands of existing jobs and claim to be providing hundreds of thousands of new jobs to our communities as replacement jobs:

  • Uber is disrupting Taxi?Limo jobs that pay adequately to support a family, some have benefits, and many receive additional income from rider tippage.
  • The jobs provided by Uber are paid well at the beginning when opening a new market. Shortly thereafter the drivers rates are reduced to unacceptable levels as they do not adequately compensate the driver  to make even a minimum income level. Some drivers have discovered they are actually working for a negative income.

Probably the biggest reason to have someone represent the workers is evident in the revised Uber contract of 12/11/2015:

Uber’s way to write a contract, is to write it all for Uber! Seriously, there is not a single line in this recent contract that serves to benefit Uber’s Workers at all. Take a look: https://rideassociation.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/rasier-technology-services-agreement-december-10-2015.pdf  Every word in this contract is meant to control or manipulate the worker, without the right of negotiation. A contract is a two-way document! Uber’s contract is a one-way document. This contract says that Uber can do damn near anything they want and the worker either accepts it or does not come to work. Here’s some of the high-lights:

  • First Uber wants you to declare that they are not a Transportation Provider but a Technology Company.
    • This is to strengthen Uber’s position in the pending Court cases. Uber is nothing more than a new type of taxi Service using a computerized dispatch, nothing more, nothing less.
  • In 2.2 One of the first things that stands out is Uber’s recommendation that you wait at least ten (10) minutes for a
    User to show up at the requested pick-up location

    • Add 10 extra unpaid minutes to your already underpaid trip. Uber logic at work here. Let’s all get a ticket for waiting for a rider because Uber says we have to stay for 10 minutes. NOTE: UBER IS NOT PAYING YOU FOR THIS TIME, YOUR TIME DOES NOT START UNTIL YOU START THE TRIP.
    • Also in 2.2 Uber pretty much tells us that we have to do it their way, and we are responsible for everything as we ourselves are the Transportation Provider. There is no text within this contract in which Uber accepts responsibility for anything.
    • As you read each section of this contract, ask yourself . . . “Shouldn’t we negotiate our contract with Uber?” You will note that Uber can modify this contract anytime they want, in any way they want. But, we can neither make modification, nor ask for renegotiation of this contract. Well if you cannot negotiate your contract as an individual worker, it is necessary that an Association or a Union negotiate for you.
  • In 2.3 Uber hangs the worker with the responsibility for the Rider and Insurance. Most UberX drivers using their personal insurance policy backed up by Uber’s commercial policy are not adequately insured, and this section throws most of you under the bus while letting Uber further deny any responsibility.
  • In 2.4 Uber says they are going to fire us for speaking truthfully about the Company:Company retains the right to deactivate or otherwise restrict you from accessing or using the Driver App
    or the Uber Services in the event of a violation or alleged violation of this Agreement, your
    disparagement of Company or any of its Affiliates, your act or omission that causes harm to
    Company’s or its Affiliates’ brand, reputation or business as determined by Company in its sole
    discretion. (So, are we supposed to say we are getting paid well, just because Uber says we are, or can we tell the truth?)
  • In 2.5 we learn how we can rate a rider and nothing negative effect the rider, and then we learn how anybody that wants to be a “dick” can get us fired. The Uber Rating System, instead of getting rated by your peers you can be rated by any asshole, somebody drunk, high on dope, an ex-lover or spouse, a competitor, a rival, or just somebody having a bad day and have your entire job terminated because somebody says something true or not. And, you cannot do a damn thing about it. That’s right folks, any Cab Driver, Bus Driver, Drunk, Doper, or just somebody having a bad day can turn your bullshit job into no job by claiming you did or didn’t do something . . . and you will be blocked from the Uber App.
  • In 2.6 We learn about using Uber’s phone or using our own. Pretty simple . . . Pay $10.00 per week to use Uber’s iPhone or use your own SmartPhone. Pretty basic. I do have to mention performance needs here. You will have to gety a pretty good Android Phone to match  the performance of the iPhone. And, “UNLIMITED DATA” is a necessity.
  • In 2.7 Uber tells you about use of your “Geo-Location” for navigational use of the Uber App. Uber needs to know where you are at to tell you where to go. What they do not tell you is that Uber can track you even when the App is off-line. If your phone is live, you and your rider can both be tracked.
  • In 3 we learn about our vehicle requirements which is actually pretty simple. Keep yourself, and your car lawfully licensed and insured. Keep it clean and in good condition. AND MAINTAIN YOUR DOCUMENTYS ACCORDINGLY! At any time that your Registration, Insurance, or Annual Vehicle Inspection expire, you will be temporarily suspended from the TNC Application until such information is brought up to date on any of the TNC’s systems. Do yourself a favor, keep copies of your Registration, Insurance, Vehicle Inspection, TNC Insurance Documents, and any other documents that demonstrate you and your vehicle in compliance, in your car. Yes, keep a copy at home, but keep a second copy available in your car just in case they are needed.
  • 4. Is where you learn that Uber can legally fuck you out of any investment, any time, and any expenses you may be due and payable for.  Keeping it simple . . . The TNC’s set the rates and fares. You have no legal right to complain, question, or discuss how much or how little you can make. Uber and Lyft consistently lie to the public, the media, and government claiming we make good money. They Brain-Wash new drivers to believe good incomes are being made, but they come to their senses usually about 3 months into the job. The drivers are the only income producing of any of the TNC’s, and not a single unregulated car is making money. Kalanick’s goal is just as simple. He does not want any of the drivers to delay his disruption. So, he will make the job so low paying and so much bullshit that drivers will quit and find other work so he can push the use of his autonomous cars into use as soon as possible to meet the consumer demands for transportation services. One option is provided the driver that wants to make changes to the fares charged to Riders. Uber will allow you to negotiate the fare “downward” only. The TNC’s do not give a damn if you do not like the rates or fares. They do not care if you drive. They do not give a damn if you are unable to put food on the table for your family, pay the rent, or pay PG&E to keep the lights on. Every month they recruit another 10,000 suckers to do the job with full knowledge that at least that many will quit within the same time frame. Everything pay related is manipulation to ensure drivers on the street as needed. Every “Surge,” “Guarantee,” or other “Incentive” offered is this manipulation . . . And, if they can screw you out of it in any way, they will. They will cheat on payments made, give Riders free rides or other discount at the expense to drivers . . . AND, YOU CANNOT DO A DAMN THING ABOUT IT! I am not making it up folks, read the contract.
  • In 5 we learn that Uber owns the Application. We only rent it at Uber’s discretion and they can kick us off of it without true cause or reason. As far as Uber is concerned, they own all rights to the Application and we own all of the responsibility for it’s use. Uber accepts NO responsibility for anything..

Okay, I know as a professional blogger I am expected to continue this article through to the end. But, guess what folks? I am not a professional blogger. I am an opinionated individual who has had enough of the reading of this bullshit Uber contract so I am jumping to the close of this article.

At the end of this contract is an Arbitration clause. What this Arbitration clause is, is Uber’s way to fuck you out of any rightsMore retro clipart at http://www.clipartof.com/ to defend yourself in a Court Of Law. Our advice is that you either consult your own attorney or put your trust in those that are telling you to Opt Out of this Arbitration. The first Arbitration clause by Uber was determined to be unlawful and so should this one. Opt Out as soon as possible and then Opt Out again. There is a statement somewhere in the last portion of the contract that suggests that your ability to Opt Out does not allow you to do so if you had not Opted Out of the preceding contracts Arbitration clause, Opt Out on this one anyway. The Courts have already said that the previous Arbitration clause was garbage and unenforceable, DO NOT let Uber trap you twice, OPT OUT NOW!

I do not know about you folks, but I find this contract insulting and just about as offensive as it can possibly get. To do anything about this requires we unify under an Association or Union and develop representation to achieve a negotiated contract that serves to benefit the drivers in any way, because there is no benefit to drivers at all in this contract. Understand This folks . . . THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PORTION OF THIS CONTRACT OF BENEFIT TO ANYONE OTHER THAN UBER.

We need representation, and we need it now. Or, just give up and move on. I’m sticking around until the fat lady sings just because I cannot wait to see how this story unfolds. Will Travis Kalanick scam the entire planet or will somebody in Government put an end to his bullshit? Same time, same channel, and I hope a better story.

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