Is Not $8.55/hr!
Read how the extraordinary costs
of self employment, combined with
the real dangers of driving,
invalidate any comparison
of rideshare wages to an
Bamboozled state governments
ignore rideshare problems...
So some cities take things into their own hands...
Two witty marketing professionals discover the smelly side of the "gig economy"
19th century labor problems resurface in today's tech revolution
Gone are the days of happy fist-bumping drivers.
Uber driver Josh Ruiz, shot in the back by his passenger is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Uber has no workers comp insurance, so no help with medical bills, lost wages, or permanent disability. Donate here to Josh on GoFundMe
“This isn’t a battle to turn back the clock on technology and innovation, nor is it about denying worker freedom or employer control. It is about economic justice.”
Veena Dubal, associate professor of law at University of California Hastings College of Law
“While Uber and Lyft and the lobbying groups and politicians backing them are trying to portray their public relations campaign as a grassroots movement of people and businesses who want ridesharing in Western New York, it is not in actuality about the grass roots or sharing. It is a sophisticated and cynical effort to manipulate public opinion and manufacture consent via a network of corporate lobbying organizations and the politicians beholden to them. The campaign is the work of billionaires – like Uber CEO Travis Kalanick – spending millions of dollars to convince Western New Yorkers to allow the exploitation of local workers so they can extract money back to the Silicon Valley.”
Robert Galbraith,, Public Accountability Initiative
How Uber and Lyft are putting passengers in danger by choosing cheaper background checks for drivers
““The background checks used by Uber and Lyft to screen potential drivers leave large loopholes for a dangerous felon to give you your next ride.”
Shelly Brown, Associate Writer at CNET’s download.com
“Drivers are facing financial hardship. 44% of drivers report difficulty paying for work expenses such as gas, insurance, and car maintenance. 55% of drivers would prefer to earn a set hourly wage after expenses.”
Institute For Research On Labor And Employment. UCLA Labor Center
“Sharing economy firms have the ability to monitor and channel behavior of all participants and may be using this capacity to everyone’s
detriment but their own.”
Ryan Calo & Alex Rosenblat Columbia Law Review
“In South Africa, extreme inequality means that drivers have a much more difficult time turning a profit with the ride-share service. Critics,…. along with many Uber drivers, believe that Uber unfairly profits at the expense of the workers who make its service possible in South Africa.”
Kimon De Greef, The Atlantic
The Adoption, Utilization, and Impacts of
Ride-Hailing in the United States
- “After using ride-hailing, the average net change in transit use is a 6% reduction among
Americans in major cities
- We find that 49% to 61% of ride-hailing trips would have not been made at all, or by walking,
biking, or transit.”
Institute of Transportation Studies ◦ University of California, Davis
Uber and the labor market
Uber drivers’ compensation, wages, and the scale of Uber and the gig economy
“The Uber driver W-2 equivalent hourly wage is roughly at the 10th percentile of all wage and salary workers’ wages, meaning Uber drivers earn less than what 90 percent of workers earn. The Uber driver W-2 equivalent hourly wage falls below the mandated minimum wage in the majority of major Uber urban markets (13 of 20 major markets, which include 18 cities, a county, and a state).“
Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute
“When you hop in an Uber or hail a cab, your driver is most likely an independent contractor, and thus unable to receive the traditional benefits and protections that many workers receive from their employer.“
Natalie Foster, advisor to the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative & David Rolf founding president of SEIU 775.
“Not only does the introduction of ride-sharing seem to not reduce congestion, it actually increases the number of car registrations by 3 percent. Most importantly, Barrios et al. find that the introduction of ride-sharing increases the number of fatal accidents by 3 percent (in the aggregate, this is equivalent to 987 extra lives lost every year in the United States alone).“
John M. Barrios, University of Chicago, Yael V. Hochberg, Rice University and NBER Livia Hanyi Yi, Rice University
“The mistake made in so much of the debate surrounding the gig economy is to assume it is a modern issue caused by digital technology. It is not. Gig economy companies succeed because of how they apply, or fail to apply, long-standing and robust employment law.“
James Temperton, WIRED Opinion
“The gig economy, no matter its size, is a symptom of a larger problem: Workers aren’t making enough, and have nothing else to fall back on.“
Monica Putts, Talking Points Memo
“The problem isn’t Uber or any other ride-sharing company. The soft spot is us as users of those services. Uber et al do only what we enable them to do. And whatever their sins, they’re only a symptom, not a cause, of our social architecture shattering into micro-particles.“
Peter Stockland, Cardus
“Washington, DC—A new report finds that many large corporations operating in the United States have boosted their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock, cheating them out of required overtime pay and engaging in similar practices that together are known as wage theft“
Philip Mattera, Good Jobs First & Jobs With Justice Education Fund
How Silicon Valley Lobbyists Secretly Pushed Texas Regulators to Rewrite the Rules of the Gig Economy
“Documents show that lobbyists for Handy.com dictated a rule to the Texas Workforce Commission that would give legal shelter to gig economy companies who don’t want to treat workers like employees.“
Justin Miller, The Texas Observer
“But a New York Times investigation found much of the devastation can be traced to a handful of powerful industry leaders who steadily and artificially drove up the price of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst. Over more than a decade, they channeled thousands of drivers into reckless loans and extracted hundreds of millions of dollars before the market collapsed..“
Brian M. Rosenthal, New York Times
“Sharing’ was supposed to save us. Instead, it became a Trojan horse for a precarious economic future.
Sharing was supposed to transform our world for the better. Instead, the only thing we’re sharing is the mess it left behind.“
Susan Cagle, onezero.medium.com
- “Vehicle damage can add up quickly
- Riders will take their time
- Figuring out a schedule that works for you can be tricky
- ‘Know your numbers’
- Going to the restroom isn’t always easy
- Taxes can get complicated …
- It’s a lonely job
- Not all riders know the rules“
Graham Rapier, Business Insider
“As Lacy put it in an interview soon after Kalanick’s ouster, ‘The thing that’s gonna kill Uber has nothing to do with who’s at the company, has nothing to do with scandals, has nothing to do with any of this. The thing that’s gonna kill Uber is when Uber finally has to charge what it costs to get a car to you.’”
Doug Henwood, JACOBIN
“The fatality rate for Uber and Lyft drivers is 14.6 per 100,000 full-time workers, with percentile rank 19.4. This indicates that 80.5% of jobs have lower fatality risks and 19.3% have higher fatality risks. For GrubHub drivers, the non-fatality rate is 205.7 per 10,000 with percentile rank 9.0; the fatality rate is 24.8 per-100,000 with percentile rank 10.6. My estimates also indicate that Uber and Lyft drivers face fatal risks that are 1.1 and 2.6 times the fatality rate for police officers and firefighters. The corresponding estimates for GrubHub drivers are 2.0 and 4.4.”
Paul Leigh, professor emeritus Department of Public Health Sciences, UC Davis.
“According to the San Francisco-based study, the median commission that drivers lost out on over the course of 37 rides was around 39.01 percent — much higher than the 25 percent claim that Uber makes.
Further, a majority of the Uber drivers that participated in the study earned less than $10 on a majority of their rides. After you factor in additional automobile and other independent contractor expenses, you’ll quickly see your effective hourly wage decrease — especially on shorter rides.“
“The growth of shared and on-demand mobility over the last decade has presented challenges for urban transportation and policy. While this growth in Transportation modes is expanding the number of mobility options available to Angelenos, it is also impacting congestion, impacting the incumbent taxicab industry, and thus, requires attention. “
Sam Schwartz Engineering, For The Los Angeles Department Of Transportation
“On-demand jobs are among the most dangerous in the country. In particular, for-hire transportation, the largest segment of on-demand work, is a very hazardous industry. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs are killed on the job at a rate five times higher than the average for all other workers. They are among the highest risk of all jobs for occupational fatalities from homicides and motor vehicle accidents.“
National Employment Law Project
“Uber’s employees co-authored academic papers with brand name scholars that were then used to back the company’s PR and lobbying strategy. Published in respected journals, those articles are based on proprietary data and non-replicable analysis. Moreover, they all don’t discuss the subsidies that make it possible for Uber to pursue market dominance despite its endless losses“
Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
“Uber’s narratives reduce everything to emotive battles between good and evil. If Uber’s success is inevitable, and resistance is futile, no one needs to waste time examining any actual economic or financial data.“
Hubert Horan, Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
“Similarly, the motivations for doing independent contractor work are likely varied and more complex than the prevailing narrative of individuals actively choosing self-employment for flexibility or self-fulfillment.18 In low-wage occupations in particular, workers such as janitors employed by subcontractors may be forced to accept independent contractor status, even though they are clearly employees.“
UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, & Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
“The real-world data suggests that today Uber-like services bring more emissions and congestion, and an incentive for people who did not use cars before to do so. While cities like London and Paris have been pursuing the objective over the past 15 years of reducing car trips, the arrival of Uber and the increase in the number of taxi-like PHV services have done little to reduce car activity in cities and the uptake of Uber licenses coupled with the requirements for relatively new high mileage cars suggests that additional car trips have been added to the city streets where they operate. We estimate that only in three cities, the emissions of Uber services could be as high as half a megatonne of CO2, equivalent to the emissions of a quarter of a million privately owned cars. In the UK, taxi and taxi-like services CO2 emissions have grown 23% since 2012.“
UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, & Yoann Le Petit & Thomas Earl, Transport & Environment
- “…it is estimated that in 2018, almost 38.5 percent of total TNC Vehicle Miles Traveled in California was deadhead miles.
- (Figure 12) demonstrates that the TNC vehicles on average travel roughly 10 miles per hour slower than their California vehicle fleet counterparts. This can impact the TNC fleet average in-use fuel economy relative to that of the California passenger fleet.”
California Air Resources Board
“Earnings are so low for self-employed unincorporated independent contractors that over a quarter (27 percent) are covered by Medicaid while 20 percent do not have any health insurance coverage. The occupational fatality rate for self-employed workers is over three times as great as it is for private payroll employees.“
The New School’s Center For New York City Affairs
“In many ways, this is like the fight of the Luddites (machine smashers) two hundred years ago at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. While the Luddites were fighting the way technology was used to further exploit rather than liberate workers, they were and are misrepresented as simply being afraid of and opposing technology.”
Michael Rozworski, JACOBIN
“Uber’s business model isn’t based on new technology, but corporate greed and worker exploitation that has been aided and abetted by a political system that has failed to hold the company accountable to basic employment standards”
Chris Brooks, staff writer at Labor Notes
“While Uber promotes itself as a way for drivers to earn extra money to fund their dreams, in truth, most drivers in New York City work full time”
Ginia Bellafante, reporter, critic and columnist for the New York Times
“TNCs have successfully adopted state interference, an antidemocratic legislative practice favored by the gun and tobacco industries and popularized by the ultraconservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), in order to rewrite the law.”
Rebecca Smith, National Employment Law Project
“Instead, the great marketing hype of new corporations in the ‘gig economy’ masks many new ways in which they exploit their employees. This is a great concern for the future of society, and especially for the well-being of us all as workers.”
Mark Graham & Joe Shaw
“Following this, the platforms dependency of network effects also affected drivers work, by constructing the app in favour for riders over drivers. This forced drivers to adapt their work to the demands of riders, constantly chasing good ratings and enduring racist and unpleasant
A Thesis By Ine Geitung
“Figuring that Uber’s app explains its growth is like putting the birthday cake’s appeal down to the candle on top. The engine of Uber’s growth to date has been the US$11.5 billion it has raised from banks and investors. “
“While hours spent transporting passengers showed a large
increase, unoccupied hours grew even more quickly. Taxis
spent 34,000 unoccupied hours in the CBD in 2013, decreasing
to 29,000 in 2017. Meanwhile, TNCs added 37,000 unoccupied
vehicle hours. “
Bruce Schaller Schaller Consulting
“Fix Uber, and you might just fix the whole taxi industry. This is a sentiment that rings true for the whole gig economy: for critics of the sector, the perceived worker exploitation is nothing new. What is new is that there’s finally an opportunity, and political will, to do something about it.”
James Temperton, WIRED
“The point of this paper is that even if Uber is not legally the
employer of Uber drivers, Uber drivers ought to be permitted to engage in
price coordination so long as Uber is permitted to set prices.”
Sanjukta Paul, BERKELEY JOURNAL OF EMPLOYMENT & LABOR LAW
“Many of these rates are below minimum wage, especially after you factor in car costs and other driving-related expenses. It’s a pretty good bet they spend more than $0.34 in gasoline per hour. They also have wear and tear and depreciation on their cars that will eat substantially into their hourly earnings. In fact, at these rates, I would bet they’re not making any money at all, they are probably losing money every hour they drive.”
“I had to pay my cab EMI of ₹10,000 today, but the cheque has bounced as there were insufficient funds in my account. This is all because the company has reduced the per-kilometre fare paid to us and my cab is off-road the past week”
Kailash Korde, Hindustan Times
“Over 12,000 Uber drivers found a way to weaponize the ridesharing platform’s restrictive contract in what’s possibly the funniest labor strategy of the year.”
Bryan Menegus, Gizmodo
“How do the workers fare?
■ The ILO survey finds that on average across the five platforms, in 2017, a worker earned US$4.43 per hour when only paid work was considered, and US$3.31 per hour when total paid and unpaid hours were considered.
■ Median earnings were lower, at just US$2.16 per hour when paid and unpaid work were considered.
■ Nearly two-thirds of American workers surveyed on the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform earned less than the federal minimum wage of US$7.25 per hour; only 7 per cent of German workers surveyed on the Clickworker platform reported earnings above the German minimum wage of €8.84 per hour,taking into consideration paid and unpaid hours of work.”
Janine Berg * Marianne Furrer * Ellie Harmon * Uma Rani * M Six Silberman The International Labor Organization
The growing use of mandatory arbitration: Access to the courts is now barred for more than 60 million American workers
“Mandatory arbitration discourages employees from bringing claims when their rights are violated.
Attorneys who represent employees are less likely to take on clients who are subject to mandatory arbitration (Colvin 2014), given that arbitration claims are less likely to succeed than claims brought to court, and, when damages are awarded, they are likely to be significantly smaller than court-awarded damages (Colvin and Gough 2015). Attorney reluctance to handle such claims effectively reduces the number of claims that are brought since, in practice, relatively few employees are able to bring employment law claims without the help of an attorney.”
Alexander J.S. Colvin, Economic Policy Institute
Ratcheting Up Workplace Protection April 1, 2019 | David Weil, Brandeis University
The Joint-Employment Standard in Limbo April 2, 2019 | Moshe Z. Marvit, The Century Foundation
Labor without Employment April 3, 2019 | Alexander Kondo, U.S. Department of Labor, and Abraham Singer, Loyola University Chicago
Regulating Non-Compete Agreements April 4, 2019 | Najah A. Farley, National Employment Law Project
The Future Looks Bright for the Right-to-Work Movement April 5, 2019 | Raymond J. LaJeunesse, Jr., National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
Regulating Work in an Age of Fissuring and Automation April 8, 2019 | Cynthia Estlund, New York University
Who Are Gig Economy Workers?April 9, 2019 | Deepa Das Acevedo, University of Alabama
Is the Fiduciary Rule Dead? April 10, 2019 | Gregory F. Jacob, O’Melveny & Myers LLP
Conflicting Interpretations of Worker Classification April 11, 2019 | Sean Burke, University of Pennsylvania”
Penn Program on Regulation, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Uber and the labor market:
Uber drivers’ compensation, wages, and the scale of Uber and the gig economy
“There has been much hype around Uber and the gig economy. But in our assessment, in any conference on the future of work, Uber and the gig economy deserve at most a workshop, not a plenary.”
Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute
“This shows that although millennials and Gen Z are trying to make the best of their situation, the vast majority aren’t cobbling together side hustles by choice—they would swap freedom and flexibility for stability and job security in a heartbeat.”
Anne Gaviola, Vice
“The unpredictability of ride-hail driving fuels economic insecurity, which is bad for health. Lyft and Uber maintain a constantly shifting dynamic for drivers as the companies decrease driver earnings per ride, add new drivers to their platforms, and eliminate the promise of flexibility in when and where to drive. As a result, drivers live in a state of chronic stress, driving for low pay with unpredictable earnings and a lack of control while driving”
Human Impact Partners & Rideshare Drivers United
“The negative environmental and social impacts of traffic congestion include increased air pollution, lost time commuting for residents and increased traffic collisions. While Transportation Network Providers (TNPs), or ride-hailing services, are not the sole reason for increasing congestion and gridlock in Chicago, our analysis shows that they are a significant contributing factor warranting action.”
Lori E. Lightfoot, Mayor Of Chicago
“Given the convenience and low cost, Uber has been characterized as a potential countermeasure for reducing the estimated 121 million episodes of drunk driving and the 10,000 resulting traffic fatalities that occur annually in the United States.
We found that the deployment of Uber services in a given metropolitan county had no association with the number of subsequent traffic fatalities, whether measured in aggregate or specific to drunk-driving fatalities or fatalities during weekends and holidays.”
Noli Brazil & David S. Kirk, American Journal of Epidemiology
How much does Uber really cost?
Uber adds to pollution and congestion in US cities and in Europe too
“Uber is adding more polluting car trips to already-clogged European cities such as London and Paris, new analysis suggests – contributing to air pollution and climate change and exploding the company’s sustainability claims.
The analysis estimates that in London and Paris alone, the emissions of Uber taxi services could be as high as half a megatonne of CO2. This is equivalent to adding the CO2 emissions of an extra 250,000 privately owned cars to the road.”
Sandra Riano, Transport & Environment
“There is no real innovation in the company’s business model, he argues. Its market share is the product of predatory pricing and gigantic subsidies, not of higher productivity.”
Hubert Horan, Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
” But the gig economy — and the absence of worker protections that come with it — is nothing short of a modern-day sharecropping business. And the model costs California $7 billion annually in lost tax revenue. It puts businesses that abide by the law at a competitive disadvantage.”
Lorena Gonzalez, California Assembly
“With the proliferation of rideshare services and other on-demand delivery platforms, more workers are driving for a living. Transportation incidents are consistently the most frequent cause of fatal occupational injuries, accounting for 2,077 deaths on the job in 2017 – or 40 percent of all occupational fatalities for the whole year. Given this high risk, it’s particularly egregious for Uber, Lyft, and other “gig economy” companies to misclassify workers as independent contractors and deny them the basic protections of workers’ compensation as well as OSHA coverage.”
Yasin Khan, UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program
“[The case] illustrates Uber’s use of secrecy in responding to lawsuits that accuse it and its drivers of injuring people — and the hurdles that accident victims can face in trying to hold the nation’s largest ride-hailing firm accountable. In many of those cases, court records also show, Uber obtained broad protective orders that have hidden evidence concerning accidents and prevented the public and regulators from learning of safety hazards.”
Seth Rosenfeld, San Francisco Public Press
“The number of ride-hailing accidents is rising as the services boom. But the industry has hidden safety records — with help from its chief regulator.”
Seth Rosenfeld, San Francisco Public Press
“But for the vast majority of workers, the “freedom” of the gig economy is just the freedom to be afraid. It is the severing of obligations between businesses and employees. It is the collapse of the protections that the people of the United States, in our laws and our customs, once fought hard to enshrine.”
Louis Hyman, Economic Historian and opinion writer New York Times
“The implicit wage subsidy paid to Uber by its drivers, in the form of below-minimum wage labour, is large relative to the overall fares and margins generated in this business. It is equivalent to a subsidy paid to Uber (and ultimately its owners) by its Australian drivers, that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. “
Jim Stanford, Ph.D.
Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute
“No single company or interest should have the power to use its wealth the way Uber does, overwhelming democracy’s deliberative and decision-making processes.”
“The recently settled Uber litigation in California illustrates how under current law arbitration effectively extinguishes important worker rights.”
Katherine V. W. Stone, Economic Policy Institute
The Growth of App-Based Ride Services and
Traffic, Travel and the Future of New York City
“A continuation of TNC-led growth in travel is not a sustainable way to grow the city. Adding TNC mileage to already congested streets will lead to mounting costs for businesses and consumers from increasing traffic delay and hinder progress toward the City’s goals for mobility, economic growth and the environment. ”
Bruce Schaller, Principal of Schaller Consulting
” As a result, we have shown that labor platforms create uneasy trade-offs for workers, placing new pressures on them in ways that can be harmful, while also providing them with avenues for appealing to weak forms of accountability that may not have existed otherwise in informal work arrangements. Platform policies and practices that create conveniences or consumers may end up amplifying worker vulnerabilities.”
Julia Ticona, Alexandra Mateescu, Alex Rosenblat – Data & Society
“The gig economy offers an important opportunity to grapple with the effects of IACs on workers’ and consumers’ low-value claims. So far, the results are troubling: while it is too early to say what is happening to drivers who pursue arbitration, it is apparent that IACs are impeding the development of answers to questions about drivers’ employment status, and significantly reducing the value of workers’ claims in litigation.”
Charlotte Garden, Associate Professor, Seattle University School of Law
“Research by Uber’s chief economist, Jonathan Hall, and John Horton of New York University found that when Uber raised its fares, drivers initially earned more money. But there were offsetting effects: The higher rates attracted more drivers while reducing the number of trips consumers made. Overall earnings for drivers soon fell back to their previous levels.”
Christopher Rugaber, Associated Press
“The arrival of ridesharing is associated with an increase of 2-3% in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents…”
John Barrios of the University of Chicago, Yael Hochberg and Livia Hanyi Yi of Rice University
“….Ontario’s highest court ruled (Uber’s) process for arbitrating disputes were not only unlawful but “unconscionable…..Uber was improperly forcing its drivers in the province to resolve complaints about pay or other work issues through an international mediation process in the Netherlands. Drivers disputing even small complaints face a steep cost of $14,500 (U.S.) to initiate the process…“
JACQUIE MCNISH, The Wall Street Journal
“Considering the frequency of strikes, the legal ramification may only be to appreciate the legitimacy of drivers’ struggles and giving them their due recognition as a ‘worker’ under the law”
Puneet Shah | Sanchit Kapoorh | it Kapoor, Moneycontrol India
“Ride-hailing giant Uber and aspiring “Uber of home services” Handy, along with other tech-companies-cum-service-providers, have been conspiring with powerful corporate allies and lobbyists on a far-reaching, multi-million-dollar influence campaign to rewrite worker classification standards for their own benefit—and to workers’ detriment. Their goal: to pass policies that lock so-called “gig” workers who find jobs via online platforms into independent contractor status, stripping them of the basic labor rights and protections afforded to employees and allowing the companies to evade payroll taxes and worker lawsuits.”
Irene Tung, National Employment Law Project
“..the Federal Reserve’s latest report on economic wellbeing in the US. The report, which was released last week [May 21, 2019], found that in 2018, workers who supported themselves through the gig economy struggled financially far more than the average person.”
Alexia Fernández Campbell, VOX
“While ride share companies say they want to do better than the status quo, they continue to fight against this path for gig workers, claiming AB5 would hurt their profitability and cause us to lose the flexibility we love in our jobs. This is a false premise and a false choice.”
Linda Valdivia & David Huerta, Opinion Newsweek
“But Uber’s demonstrated ability to use raw economic power on an unprecedented scale makes the risks to society even worse….
Uber, meanwhile, is unique because it is entirely exploitive. It has not created any sustainable offsetting benefits. The private wealth it has created comes entirely at the expense of the rest of society.”
“Beyond its impact on workers, Uber has made our cities worse places to live. The company has decreased urban public transit usage and even produced a sharp rise in US traffic deaths. And Uber has vastly increased congestion. Last year in NYC, rideshare companies added 85,000 cars per month completing 700,000 trips a day to the city’s streets. If we assume an average of five miles per trip, using EPA metrics, then rideshare companies added 516,110 metric tons of CO2 to NYC’s air — the equivalent pollution of 406,066 flights from NYC to San Francisco.”
Andrew Wolf, JACOBIN
“The firm’s reported costs don’t include the cars’ lost value: almost $11 billion. Once drivers understand that they are liquidating the value of their vehicles, in effect receiving payday loans with their cars as collateral, the effects may be significant. ”
Ken Wiles, clinical associate professor of finance at The University of Texas at Austin & Kep Sweeney, managing director of Acceleron Group.
“Uber and Lyft keep losing money while driving up the number of cars on our overcrowded streets….
THE DISCONNECT IS BETWEEN HOW ANALYSTS TALK ABOUT THESE COMPANIES AND HOW CITIES ABSORB THE EFFECTS OF APP-BASED RIDE-HAILING”
Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge
“In perhaps the first move of its kind, Ms Joshi’s commission forced Uber to hand over data about its drivers operating in New York.
“What we found out was that conditions were worse than what was described to us by drivers,” she said.
“Ninety-six per cent of drivers were making less than the city’s minimum wage. Most of the drivers were providing the main source of income for their families.”
Carl Miller,NEWS BBC.com
“For the driver hourly earnings rate, we find that when Uber raises the base
fare in a city, the driver hourly earnings rate rises immediately as drivers make more money per trip. However, the hourly earnings rate begins to decline shortly thereafter, and after about 8 weeks, there is no detectable difference in the driver average hourly earnings rate compared to before the fare increase.”
Jonathan V. Hall, Uber Technologies / John J. Horton, NYU Stern /Daniel T. Knoepfle, Uber Technologies
“Better regulating the gig economy is important to ensure everyone benefits from technological change. We need to consider the gains to workers, not just companies and consumers. Is technology going to provide quality jobs and increase people’s control over their work? Or is it going to be used to circumvent the basic minimum wage and drive down working conditions?”
Michael Rawling, Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney & Associate Professor UTS Centre for Business and Social Innovation, University of Technology Sydney
“Uber’s employees co-authored academic papers with brand name scholars that were then used to back the company’s PR and lobbying strategy…..None of the papers actually analyzed their nominal subjects (comparative taxi operating productivity, the labor market for taxi drivers, changes in consumer welfare since Uber’s entry, or factors affecting driver welfare).”
Hubert Horan, Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
“The GC memo gets the realities of driving for Uber wrong. In reality, Uber drivers do not experience entrepreneurial opportunity. Drivers have no control over the fares Uber charges passengers. Drivers have no ability to grow their business through marketing strategies or subcontracting. In fact, academic research co-authored by Uber’s chief economist demonstrates that drivers have very limited ability to improve their own earnings.”
Lawrence Mishel and Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute
No free lunch, but almost: What DoorDash actually pays, after expenses, and what’s happening with tips
“ On average, DoorDash pays just $1.45 per hour worked, after accounting for the expenses of mileage and the additional payroll taxes borne by independent contractors. The average job requires 6.8 miles of driving, and takes 30 minutes to complete.
8% of jobs include gross pay from DoorDash of just $2.
86% of jobs include a customer tip.
Just 11% of jobs pay more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour after expenses, and only 2% meet the standard of $15 + expenses.
Despite the company’s insistence that they are no longer misappropriating tips, our analysis shows that jobs with higher tips tend to have lower pay.”
“If the company designs their financial offerings so that drivers must continue to work for Uber in order to pay off their Uber debts or to maintain access to their Uber bank accounts, the company could lock workers in. If the only way you can have a bank account is to drive for Uber, then you might just continue to drive for the company even if you want to stop.
In continuing its foray into the financial services market, Uber may have proven once again that its main claim – that it provides freedom to drivers like Aslam – is also its biggest lie.”
Veena Dubal,University of California, Hastings College of the Law
“Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have unveiled their ballot initiative to undo historic worker protections enshrined in AB5, California’s new law that tightens the criteria for worker classification. The initiative claims drivers will receive a guaranteed pay equal to 120% of the minimum wage (that would be $15.60 in 2021, when the California minimum wage will be $13). Our review of the initiative leads to a very different estimate. After considering multiple loopholes in the initiative, we estimate that the pay guarantee for Uber and Lyft drivers is actually the equivalent of a wage of $5.64 per hour. ”
Ken Jacobs, Chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center & Michael Reich, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley and co-chair, Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics.
““All that modern technology has done is make it easier, through omnipresent smartphones, to amass a fleet of increasingly desperate jobseekers eager to take whatever work they can get.“
Leo Mirani, Quartz
“Our city and nation don’t need another gig-economy industry that makes a small percentage of top executives and investors extraordinarily wealthy by exploiting the labor of ordinary workers.”
The Editorial Board of the Chicago Sun-Times
“So if the gig economy is characterized by low pay, a lack of benefits, and a predatory relationship where the business risks are burdened by the worker, why aren’t workers abandoning it? Simple: they have no other options. The gig economy isn’t about helping people who are being left behind; it’s about exploiting them because they have to accept whatever work they can find.”
Paris Marx, The Bold Italic
“On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.”
Susan J. Fowler, Blog
“States and communities have struggled to protect consumers through regulation of ride-sharing and short-term rental companies such as Uber and Airbnb, because these businesses have successfully used rhetoric and their users to perpetuate a “myth” that their mission is primarily altruistic.”
Amy Stemler, Emory Law Journal
“Private ride TNC services (UberX, Lyft) put 2.8 new TNC
vehicle miles on the road for each mile of personal driving
removed, for an overall 180 percent increase in driving on
Bruce Schaller, Principal of Schaller Consulting
“We fear that, until such proposals are set in train, a growing number of people in this country will find themselves being subjected to ‘sweated labour’ – toiling through anxiety and insecurity, for unsafe lengths of time across seven days a week, in return for poverty pay.”
Frank Field & Andrew Forsey, Members Of UK Parliament
“This paper lays out the economic evidence showing that Uber has no ability — now or in the foreseeable future — to earn sustainable profits in a competitive marketplace. The growth of Uber is entirely explained by massive predatory subsidies that have totally undermined the normal workings of both capital and labor markets. “
” Employees — or contractors — found themselves in a difficult position. They are expected to sign documents giving an employer broad protection when it often is impossible to tell in advance how bad things might be in a systemic way at a company. You only learn when it’s too late.“
Erik Sherman, Contributor Forbes
” He found ride-hailing accounts for an 83 percent increase in the miles cars travel in the metro. Henao said a combined 34 percent of his passengers would have taken transit, walked or bicycled if ride-hailing didn’t exist.“
University of Colorado Denver Ph.D. graduate Alejandro Henao.
” One way or another the free market has found a convenient feedback loop where both the consumer and labor are taken advantage of by the gig economy.“
Jack’s Raging Bile Duct, RHYD
” The second group of economists who should dislike Uber are specialists in labour markets. They know that the standard early industrial practice of pushing down wages as far as possible is bad, for the affected workers and for the whole economy. Uber, however, has not learned the lesson. Its drivers get a rough deal.“
Edward Hadas, Financial Columnist
“The so-called “future of labor” looks like a relic from from Marx’s time.”
Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg Opinion
“Uber misleading its customers is not only unethical but also unsafe — users of this service need to be made aware of the potential dangers.“
Annie Diaz, The Signal
” ….It’s also because, besides its much-touted “flexibility,” the gig economy isn’t much of a place to build a career. Instead, over the course of less than a decade, the self-described “tech companies” that connect people to gig work have managed to erode hard-fought labor protections in place for a century.“
Ephrat Levni, QUARTZ
“Uber raced to global market share leadership in the rideshare sector on the strength of over $9 billion of investment from Softbank’s Vision Fund. But its hyper-growth strategy was based on six critical assumptions that have all proved to be false or yet to be proven.“
Len Sherman, Executive in Residence and Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School
An Earnings Standard for New York City’s App-based Drivers: July 2018 Economic Analysis and Policy Assessment
“We find that a majority of the city’s FHV drivers work full-time and that 85 percent make less than the proposed pay standard. Hourly pay is low in large part because the industry depends upon a ready availability of idle drivers to minimize passenger wait times. “
James A. Parrott and Michael Reich
Report for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
“The technique, which has been used selectively by companies in other industries, may prove to be particularly effective in the gig economy, where workers lack financial stability, said Bryan Schwartz, a Bay Area attorney who’s not involved in the case. It’s an “insidious” move, he said, because recipients likely can’t afford to seek legal counsel and weigh the benefits of holding out for a potentially larger payout from a lawsuit. “Low-wage workers, who are trying to make ends meet, are especially vulnerable,” said Schwartz, who serves on the board of the California Employment Lawyers Association, a worker advocacy group. “They’re going to sign and take the pittance to waive all their claims.”
Ellen Huet, Bloomberg
“Jacobs also emphasized that, while much of the public discussion around AB5 describes it as a change for platform companies, ‘It’s important to note that the Dynamex decision has already been in place for over a year; that’s settled law in California, by supreme court ruling, that they have ignored,’ he said.
Uber and/or Lyft have also settled various lawsuits in these areas, and, because of the nature of most drivers’ arbitration agreements, been able to ‘cabin off’ such opposition and ‘keep their business going, without changing practices,’ he said. ‘There’s a good case to be made that they have always operated by flouting the law … and continuing the practice of: ignore the law, make money, and build up the power to try to change those laws.’”
Janet Burns, Forbes
“Results show that per hour worked, median profit from driving is $3.37/hour before taxes, and 74% of drivers earn less than the minimum wage in their state. 30% of drivers are actually losing money once vehicle expenses are included. On a per-mile basis, median gross driver revenue is $0.59/mile but vehicle operating expenses reduce real driver profit to a median of $0.29/mile. For tax purposes the $0.54/mile standard mileage deduction in 2016 means that nearly half of drivers can declare a loss on their taxes. If drivers are fully able to capitalize on these losses for tax purposes, 73.5% of an estimated U.S. market $4.8B in annual ride-hailing driver profit is untaxed. ‘”
Stephen Zoepf, Stella Chen, Paa Adu, and Gonzalo Pozo, MIT Center for Energy and
Environmental Policy Research
“Companies control their data. They tend to share that data with researchers who use it only in ways that are blessed by the corporations. Thus, important questions aren’t answerable, or worse, the apparent answers might be biased or incomplete.
Is it just a coincidence that studies to which Uber grants data tend to enhance its public image?
In studying digital platforms academic research inadvertently becomes part of the platforms’ lobbying effort, a phenomenon I labeled academic capture.‘”
Luigi Zingales, Stigler Center at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
“I show how in the mid-to late-twentieth century, taxi companies used the independent contractor category to shift the legal and economic risks of business from government and employers to individual drivers. These changes have profoundly shaped the lives and opportunities of vulnerable workers today by rendering precarious their work.‘”
V.B. Dubal,University of California Hastings College of the Law
“(Special Investigative Unit) investigators are coached by Uber to act in the company’s interest first, ahead of passenger safety, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former investigators.
The agents are forbidden by Uber from routing allegations to police or from advising victims to seek legal counsel or make their own police reports, even when they get confessions of felonies.
‘Investigators are there first to protect Uber; and then next to protect the customer’, said Flores, who worked nearly two years for Uber as an investigator and investigations trainer before leaving in November. ‘Our job is to keep the tone of our conversations with customers and drivers so that Uber is not held liable.’”
“In an extensive new report, Uber details for the first time the number of sexual abuse complaints made to the company in 2017 and 2018.
- The 84-page report reveals several startling statistics:
- 235 reports of rape in 2018, up from 229 in 2017.
- 280 reports of attempted rape in 2018, down from 307 in 2017.
- 1,560 reports of groping in 2018, up from 1,440 in 2017.
- 376 reports of unwanted kissing to the breast, buttocks or mouth in 2018, down from 390 in 2017.
- 594 reports of unwanted kissing to a different body part in 2018, up from 570 in 2017.
In all, Uber received 5,981 reports of sexual abuse between 2017 and 2018.‘”
Conor Ferguson, Stephanie Gosk, Rich Schapiro, NBC News
“But the report does not include thousands of accidents involving the Uber app — both fatal and nonfatal — that the firm knows about.
But by its own account, Uber excluded from its tally of fatal accidents 22 deaths documented in its own records, on the grounds that it could not locate them in the Fatality Analysis Review System, a federal database of traffic deaths. Although Uber cited various reasons why fatalities generally may not appear in this database, the firm offered no details on the excluded cases.
Uber also did not include an unknown number of fatalities that occurred during the period when drivers were logged into the app and awaiting ride requests, such as when an Uber driver fatally struck 6-year-old Sophia Liu in San Francisco in 2013.
And the company’s report did not include any non-fatal vehicular accidents, which in the general population account for the vast majority of crashes in which someone is hurt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”