- Title: USA-UBER DRIVERS PROTEST Uber car drivers in California protest low compensation
- Date: 23rd October 2014
- Summary: VARIOUS LOCATIONS (FILE) (REUTERS) UBER USER ON PHONE THREE STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF UBER APP ON PHONES
- Embargoed: 7th November 2014 12:00
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA3YOP26OTRBLW26AWY5ZM1479E
- Story Text: Drivers working for the rideshare service app Uber protested in Santa Monica, California on Wednesday (October 22) for what they say is unfair treatment by the company. Several dozen drivers gathered at the event - one of many that were planned all over the world on Wednesday in cities where Uber has a presence.
"The reason we're here today is because Uber has increased the amount of drivers on the road, they decreased the rate that we get charged, we get paid, and they've increased their commission," said Uber driver Matt Doherty. "So basically we're making very, very little and when you actually do the math, we're making less than minimum wage, so that's the reason why we're here."
Drivers working for Uber work as independent contractors and do not belong to a union. The app, which connects the drivers with passengers looking for a ride, is a one-press car service, where ride fees are automatically charged to a credit card - with no cash exchanged, and no tip for the driver required.
Driver Lofti Benyedder, complained about the company's rating system - where passengers rate their drivers after their ride; low scores could lead to the driver being deactivated.
"The other issue, the deactivation process that they have is unfair. They just deactivate you with one click without even having the time to appeal or to sit down to see the exact reason for the deactivation," said Benyedder.
For its part, Uber says that their App and business model have created small business opportunities that didn't previously exist, according to a written statement the companied provided in response to the protest.
"Four years ago, drivers simply didn't have the economic opportunity they have today. Uber powers entrepreneurship and provides the tools for drivers to build their own small business - that is a fundamental and significant change from the status quo, where drivers start the day at least $100 in the hole just to rent their taxi," said the statement, attributable to an Uber spokesperson.
Uber is available in 45 countries and more than 100 cities worldwide.
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