Drivers rebel against Uber's price-cutting quest for growth

Marcus Newton
March 3, 2017

"I m bankrupt because of you", argue the Uber driver in the video. "I can't guarantee to address everything, but I can promise that Uber will do a much better job listening to drivers and serving their needs".

"To say that I am ashamed is an extreme understatement", Kalanick said in an email to Uber staff. "We went low-end because we had to because we'd be out of business". But management and corporate governance experts expect that the company would add some array of seasoned leadership coaching, veteran executives to round out Kalanick's team, new members to Uber's board - or all of the above. In August 2014, Uber would nudge those numbers upward, but the current fare rates still ring in below what an OG Uber driver would have been making in 2011.

Critics, however, say the initiatives hardly address drivers' real issue, the one Kalanick dismissed on video: that they aren't being paid well enough.

By now, you've undoubtedly seen the video of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick getting into a heated argument with Fawzi Kamel, one of his company's drivers. After the first #DeleteUber campaign in January, its chief ride-hailing competitor, Lyft, surpassed Uber in downloads for the first time ever. "And the worst part is, they call us partners, [but] they make the rules, set the price and they even choose the cars you can use", he said.

Kamel claimed that he is $97,000 in debt because of Uber and had to declare bankruptcy. "If you are contacted by anyone asking for personal and intimate info about me, please report asap", she said in a tweet on February 24.

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Kalanick understands he has to improve and has taken full responsibility for his actions, "he's not blaming anyone else", said Calacanis. "We always knew that the CEO was pretty ruthless when it comes to drivers".

As if Uber's woes couldn't get any more taxing than it now is.

Uber on Thursday rebutted claims that it is investigating Susan Fowler Rigetti, a former female engineer who penned a viral essay accusing it of systemic sexism. First, more than 200,000 subscribers deleted their Uber app after the firm was accused of breaking a strike by taxi drivers protesting Donald Trump's executive order against refugees. "That's why the driver confronted the CEO". The ex-Uber employee said that her decision was influenced by a series of factors including, Uber referencing her by name in its e-mail to customers that were deleting their accounts.

Uber declined comment on the controversies but points to a survey showing that 73 percent of its drivers don't want to be employees. When she took the issue to human resources, a representative said that he would not be punished partly because he was a "high performer".

"Bloomberg on Tuesday published a video of Kalanick, a co-founder of the company, arguing with a driver who tells him that rates have been cut and he has lost money", reported Reuters.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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