The petition calls on the company’s CEO to reduce the commission it takes from drivers.
Almost 10,000 people have signed a petition urging Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber, to reduce the commission the company takes from its drivers from 25 percent per trip to 15 percent.
Launched by an Uber driver on the Organise Network, which campaigns to make life better at work for everyone, the petition calls on the ride-hailing company to “lower your rate as everything is expensive, fuel prices are up, and Uber is currently taking 25% of each trip.”
In August 2022, the ride-hailing giant reported record revenue for what was then the latest quarter, and said that more drivers and couriers were using its platform than ever before. Uber said it had generated $382 million in free cash flow, marking its first positive free cash flow in a quarter. Earlier that year, Khosrowshahi had told employees to cut costs and focus on profitability.
In an email seen by CNBC, the company’s CEO had told employees Uber will cut back on spending and focus on becoming a leaner business to address a “seismic shift” in investor sentiment.
“I challenged the team to meet our profitability commitments even faster than planned, and the team delivered,” Khosrowshahi had said.
According to sources, Khosrowshahi has an estimated net worth of at least $66 million. The Iranian American businessman is also said to own about 1,420,968 shares in Uber Technology Inc, stock worth over $37 million.
Meanwhile, the working conditions at the tech giant have been described as “modern-day slavery.”
In December, around 60 Uber drivers in Southampton rallied together to protest against pay changes amid the cost of living crisis. They were protesting a new pricing structure that was introduced by Uber in November, which the drivers claim makes it “hard to get by.” They say that under the new pricing system, the price the customer pays is not the money the drivers receive. The drivers say that Uber is now taking “up to 60 percent” of the payment commission, rather than the set rate of 25 percent.
Uber claims the changes were made to “attract new drivers to meet the growing demand” as we are “supporting existing drivers with the cost of living.”
Similar protests took place in Bristol, when passengers were urged not to use the company during the strike over changes to the fare system, which drivers say has resulted in a significant pay cut.
The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU), which represents Uber drivers in the UK, has already taken the company to court over drivers taking home a below minimum wage and forgoing holiday or sick pay. The union is also calling for ‘smart pricing’ model, which means mileage is calculated as the crow flies rather than of the actual route, to be scrapped.
Uber driver Shaban said that he is having to work almost double the hours to take home the same amount of pay as he did in 2021.
“Everything is going up across the board so what they are paying the drivers is not an accurate reflection of the cost of living,” Shaban told Bristol Live.
LFF reached out to Uber for commentary. An Uber spokesperson said:
“Uber’s pricing can vary by trip for various reasons, including to improve reliability at certain times. Drivers are always shown an upfront price before deciding whether to accept a trip. There have been a number of important changes to the way drivers earn on Uber since 2021 – Uber is the only platform to provide holiday pay and access to a pension plan – with earnings having grown significantly due to recent fare increases and growing rider demand.”
Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward
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