Union News

Why Uber is Bad for Everyone

Riders and general public:

Uber wants to get into the business of transportation without taking on the basic responsibilities that come with the job and without being subjected to regulations that were developed precisely to guarantee the safety of the public.

  1. Uber does not provide primary insurance coverage for its drivers, customers or other people that might be involved in an accident with an Uber driver. Any incident has to be covered in first instance by the driver's personal insurance, which does not cover the commercial use of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the secondary insurance provided by Uber only works for the duration of the ride, not while the driver is waiting for a rider or on their way to pick up a rider, and only if the driver's insurance fails to cover the damages. So, lives or properties affected by an accident with an Uber driver could be left without protection.(Read more, here: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/)
  2. Uber does not require its drivers to have any kind of certification or special license. The company does not even meet with the drivers before "hiring" them. The drivers only have to apply through the app and be subjected to a regular background check.(Read more, here: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/)
  3. Since they do not fall under the purview of regulatory agencies, cars used by Uber drivers do not have to comply with the same vehicle inspections as registered taxi and limo services. (Read more, here: https://news.vice.com/article/taxi-drivers-are-trying-to-take-down-uber


Uber promises high wages for its drivers (more than $90,000 a year in “business income”) but no journalist has been able to find a driver who has seen that pledge fulfilled. The fact is that Uber drivers have to carry a lot of the responsibility that Uber fails to take on. If you add to that the sudden changes in fares and secretive company policies, the job of an Uber driver turns out to be unstable, insecure and even unsustainable. 

1. Uber promises high wages for its drivers (more than $90,000 a year in “business income”) but no journalist has been able to find a driver who has seen that pledge fulfilled. Uber likes to brag about the high pay its drivers get, but their numbers only show the gross income, not the actual take-home amount after subtracting about 20% in expenses, 20% that goes to Uber and $1 per ride for the Uber safety fee. In fact, the touted average of $19 per hour does not consider the driver’s car expenses, such as gas, maintenance, registration and insurance. Also, fares (and rules) vary according to the city and demand, and the actual take away depends on the driver's car, gas prices and traffic conditions, so it is difficult to set a real average wage. (Read more, here: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/; here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenhuet/2014/12/01/uber-data-show-how-wildly-driver-pay-can-vary/; and here: http://time.com/money/3678389/uber-drivers-wages/)

2. Uber usually slashes fares a few months after beginning to offer service in a city, so the drivers have to adjust to the new fares and see their take home greatly reduces, to the point that it is not sustainable to keep driving for Uber, except for maybe the limited high demand hours when fares go up. Uber argues that reducing fares generates more demand, but the fact is that there is a limited amount of rides that a single driver can offer so that additional demand in reality gets divided among more drivers that come in to supply the demand. So Uber gets more income but drivers see their wages reduced. (Read more, here: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/)

3. Since Uber does not offer primary insurance coverage, drivers have to use their personal insurance, which is not supposed to cover the commercial use of the vehicle. This opens up the driver to having their insurance cancelled and even being investigated for fraud. (Read more, here: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/)

4. The Uber app provides the rider with a tool to rate the drivers with one to five stars, which leaves them vulnerable to bad ratings without details that they have no way to counter, explain or even know which customer gave it. Although the cutoff rate at which Uber “deactivates” a driver has not been confirmed, it is thought to be around 4.6. (Read more, here: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/)


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​The Office and Professional Employees International Union was chartered in 1945 and​, with more than ​90,000 members, we’re one of the larger unions of the AFL-CIO. OPEIU has locals ​throughout the United States and Canada.

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