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Uber now officially under investigation

Discussion in 'Perth | Uber Drivers Forum' started by HumungousDill, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. HumungousDill

    HumungousDill Active Member

    Following Uber's repeated failures to respond to requests to lift rates to sustainable levels, a request was sent by the RSDU to the Fair Work Ombudsman in early May 2017 to investigate.

    Thanks to all Perth drivers who volunteered to be interviewed by the Fair Work Ombudsman, more volunteers are welcome, to qualify you must have driven more than 12 months and work on average 35 hours or more per week.

    Uber is now officially under investigation:


    Ridesharing provider Uber is the subject of an investigation by Australia’s ombudsman for workplace relations.

    The Fair Work Ombudsman confirmed to Business Insider on Wednesday evening that it has started an inquiry into whether the company’s conditions for drivers comply with federal regulations.

    “I can confirm that the Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced an investigation into Uber, with the purpose of determining whether the engagement of Uber drivers is compliant with Commonwealth workplace laws,” an ombudsman spokesperson said.

    “As this is a live investigation it would not be appropriate for us to comment any further.”

    Uber had long been classifying drivers as contractors rather than employees, explicitly calling them “partner-drivers” to emphasise the point. But a group of activist drivers called RSDU has claimed responsibility for the FWO investigation, saying the current conditions equate to a “a classic ‘sham contracting’ arrangement”.

    “To be classified as real subcontractors, drivers must have more control and ability to grow their business, directly negotiate service prices with customers, ask for the destination before having to drive to the pick up location, be permitted to hail street rides, issue invoices and most importantly be able to scrutinise the Uber booking system and its various performance and earning metrics,” the group stated on its website this month.

    “Uber currently does it all ‘on behalf of drivers’ while drivers have absolutely no say over any of these important business decisions & functions.”

    An Uber Australia said that more than 60,000 people chose to drive on its platform because “they like setting their own schedule and being their own boss”.

    “We will be happy to assist the Fair Work Ombudsman with any questions they may have.”

    RSDU claimed it took its concerns to the FWO earlier this month, submitting accounts of driver experiences and demanding that all rideshare drivers be classified and paid as casual workers. Now that the investigation has started, it is actively calling on Uber drivers to make submissions to the ombudsman.

    In an attempt to calm driver concerns, Uber Australia earlier this month lifted its minimum fares across all mainland state capitals. The company also added a 55c booking fee at the same time, but none of that went to the drivers.

    RSDU said at the time that the minimum fare rides were such a small percentage of total trips that the change was “a slap in the face” for drivers.

    The group instead called for a hike in the distance-based rates. Those tariffs had been cut twice in the past two years and now were at “very low, unsustainable levels” that left drivers with “well below minimum take home wage”, according to RSDU.

    Failure to adapt
    Uber globally has been on a hiding to nothing in recent weeks, with its corporate culture coming under scrutiny, a board member resigning after making sexist comments at an anti-sexism staff meeting, and its founder and chief Travis Kalanick resigning after an investor revolt.

    Tony Wu, head of growth at recruitment platform startup Weploy, said that the industrial dispute in Australia had arisen because the “gig economy” has evolved from people earning “quick cash on the side” to actually making their primary income.

    “Many Australians [now] rely on this type of work as their livelihoods, and as such, we need to treat these jobs as legitimate forms of employment,” he said.

    “We feel there is a lack of responsibility within the gig economy and workers are left to fend for themselves as contractors.”

    While Uber had left a great legacy of bringing the gig economy into the mainstream, Wu said, its industrial relations needed to adapt.

    “If they fail to take responsibility for this, it will only continue to add to their growing list of issues. In the gig economy, the success of your business is proportional to the happiness of your community,” he said.

    “However, Uber can’t be solely blamed for the issue — policy makers have been slow to the mark and have failed to adapt legislation to protect workers within these economies.”

    Read more at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/...ation-in-australia-2017-6#uIqC9WL7iHv3TovU.99

    Other media reports:



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  2. HumungousDill

    HumungousDill Active Member

    Excellent work Max / RSDU . Let's hope for a good outcome.
    eXploitation, Uberx zoom and Aujezza like this.
  3. Aujezza

    Aujezza Member

    Got a letter from the FWO saying they will be in touch.

    I am writing to you following your expression of interest, as conveyed by RiderShare Drivers United (RSDU) to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), to assist in the above investigation. The FWO has commenced this investigation to examine the nature of the engagement of workers that perform work as drivers for Uber Australia Pty Ltd (Uber),and to determine if there has been a contravention of Commonwealth workplace laws.

    The FWO is an independent Australian government agency responsible for ensuring that workers and employers understand and comply with their obligations under Australian workplace laws, and for protecting the workplace rights of both workers and employers. The FWO also provides information and assistance to employers, workers and organisations about compliance and enforcement.

    Where the FWO requires additional assistance we may contact you to ascertain your interest and availability.

    We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your response and willingness to assist the FWO in this investigation.

    Yours sincerely,

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