RSDU’s “No Uber Tuesday!” Log-OFF protest 14/3/2017 ended successfully, creating noticeable driver shortages and extended pick up times in many locations across Melbourne and Brisbane’s in and around busy areas during peak hours.
More then 2000 drivers took part in this joint two cities LOG OFF effort, disrupting service and creating a shortage of Uber drivers starting at around 6:30 in Melbourne and Brisbane. Uber surge maps remained red hot well after 10:00am with often 2x surge pricing in and around the CBD, which is unheard of for a “normal” Tuesday morning in Melbourne. Pickup times doubled, extending to 8 to 10 minutes on average.
Our joint action caused major disruptions to the Uber service in Melbourne and in Brisbane and received much needed media attention. The news of the protest and the fact that Uber drivers are being paid significantly below minimum wage was covered over a number of important media outlets, the most important achievement of this campaign.
We are still in communication with a number of reporters and hope to see more media attention to our poor working conditions. Our primary goal is to build more public and Government awareness before Ride Share legislation in Victoria is being finalised. We also work hard to ensure more pressure is being put on Uber to comply with minimum wage and fair work laws of this country, let alone GST law.
We received no communication or response from Uber to our list of demands yet. We will keep you updated as soon as we have more news.
Thank you to all the drivers who stood for their rights and made a sacrifice on that day, staying Logged OFF until 5PM. We take our hats off to you!
You have proved once again that we are all ready to fight for the greater cause and benefit to us all.
Stay tuned more to come!
Last but not least, here is a question to our Government:
Is Uber an Example of Innovation, or Just Another Way to Pay Workers Less?
Uber uses technology to displace workers who may have little access to other jobs, and as a result makes labor and, ultimately the cost of a ride cheaper. The customer seeing the savings consider the lower cost and convenience an innovation, while the driver on the wrong end of disruption fight the change.
Uber, whose whole business model depends on low-cost labor, seeks to drive down labor costs even further using more technology like self-driving cars.
Consumers hail lower transportation costs as an example of innovation, while anger among drivers for being underpaid continues to grow.
This cycle is all too familiar and present a real and clear danger to the way of life in Australia, creating sub class of underpaid workers and increase in poverty. Australia is a country well known for protecting worker rights and employment entitlements and for a very good reason! There are fair work laws in place to protect the rights of even casual workers. Why is the “Ride Share” industry being overlooked?
If we want an economy that works for everyone, we must accept the fact that at some point we will have to pay more for the goods and services we use. Ride Share should be no exception.
Uber’s is not really offering a cheaper alternative to other hire cars or taxis because they built something truly innovative—they just reallocated labor expenses to a cheaper source and, in many instances, flout the legal and regulatory requirements of the communities the company operates in.
If, for example, a shoe manufacturer shifted its workforce to a country with lower wages and used technology specifically designed to avoid legal authorities, we wouldn’t call it innovation.
We might call it exploitation.
But if it’s a tech company, I guess there is a different standard.
RSDU therefore asks our Governments to pay very careful attention to driver’s minimum wage, working conditions and classification, well before finalising the legislation of the Ride Share industry in Australia.