The Uber driver strike isn’t about hindering Uber — it’s about stealing the narrative

On May 8th, ride-hail drivers in cities across the US went on strike to protest unfair pay, poor working conditions, and a lack of transparency from Uber. The strike, which was timed to coincide with Uber’s much-anticipated IPO, generated headlines in all the major newspapers, but it’s unclear whether those reports really grasped what was happening. This isn’t a strike in the traditional sense: it’s public relations.

First off, Uber classifies its drivers as independent contractors ineligible for benefits associated with traditional employment, like health insurance, paid time off, or workers compensation. As such, Uber drivers can’t unionize, they can’t collectively bargain, and they can’t really strike in any organized fashion. There…

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Author: Andrew J. Hawkins