“No Uber Monday!”, Drivers’ Log-OFF protest organised by RSDU on 10 April 2017,was successfully completed, creating driver shortages in morning and afternoon peak hours in many locations across Melbourne.
More than 1200 Uber drivers took part in this protest, disrupting the service and creating surges and much higher than usual driver demand across the city. The message of our protest was successfully communicated to the press and received overwhelming nationwide media attention. It was covered by almost every news outlet across the country.
This was RSDU’s 3rd organised strike since February this year and we are yet to hear an acceptable response to our demands from Uber management.
Our first strike took place 27/2/2017, second strike on 14/3/2017, third strike 10/4/2017. We are planning on continuing our actions until our concerns are fully addressed.
Uber on 10/4/2017 released the following statement to the press, “We’re always happy to speak directly with drivers at our partner support centres”. (Source: AAP). Uber also mentioned they are holding regular”round table meeting” with drivers. Many of RSDU members in Melbourne are long time drivers and none of us had ever heard of such meetings, let alone being invited to one, – up to this latest strike.
RSDU disagree with this approach, the reasons are as follow:
A) Uber has failed to provide an adequate channel for drivers feedback that could be trusted to result in any substantial change. Drivers have been voicing their concerns on unacceptably low base fares since April 2016. Uber received overwhelmingly high negative feedback, yet did nothing to improve current unsustainable loss making levels. It is almost as if drivers are currently financing the Uber experience out of their own pockets while Uber continue to cut the same commission percentage on the Fares collected. Driver groups investing their time in direct conversation with Uber achieved no measurable outcome, all they heard so far are empty promises and marketing slogans. Meeting Uber representatives or sending Uber feedback has proven a waste of time.
B) Drivers fear being deactivated without notice (uber-speak for fired on the spot) if they were to speak their mind “too loud” in any direct negotiations. Drivers have been wrongly labelled as sub contractors and have no official body to represent them or look after their workplace rights. Most drivers prefer to stay “quiet” and anonymous in their approach. Many drive for a living and can not afford losing their only job. Many of them have leased or bought new cars to drive for Uber and can’t default on their finance obligations once they get deactivated (fired without notice). Current Uber agreement leaves drivers too vulnerable to deactivation.
RSDU therefore believes that Uber is more than aware of the drivers’ concerns and the ball is in their court for quite some time now. Our list of demands has been made very public and communicated to Uber through almost every media outlet in this country. We believe that a driver’s fair pay is a human right not a negotiable bonus. RSDU would like to see Uber immediately increase its base rates in Melbourne. Our list of demands was based on data received by surveying dozens of Uber drivers in Melbourne, online and offline. These are the issues we would like to see resolved immediately. They are non negotiable.
Thank you to all the drivers who stood for their rights and made a sacrifice on Monday 10th of April, staying Logged OFF until 5PM. We take our hats off to you! You have proved once again that we are united and ready to fight for the greater cause and benefit to us all.
RSDU intends to intensify and prolong service disruptions in the coming weeks until Uber meets our full list of demands.
Stay tuned there is much more to come!
A note to Uber management. Please click here to contact us if you wish to seriously discuss any of the issues raised. Feel free to provide us with a phone number or email address and RSDU representative will contact you as soon as possible.
- Why are Uber drivers in Melbourne not happy
- What are drivers demanding
- How YOU can help make this protest effective
- Join RSDU and stay informed, it’s free
- Join our Facebook group
- How to contact RSDU
- Join the RSDU forums
- Join our Melbourne Whatsapp group and stay updated in real time
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RSDU is deeply concerned by modern age wage exploitation and the dangers is poses to our society. We are committed to helping RideShare drivers from all around the world. Please contact us should you wish to start getting organised and start a collective action in your home country/state.