The problem with a free ride

I am not a fan of Uber. In fact, the more I come to understand the concept of what Uber is, the more I dislike Uber, but let me explain why.

I was at the corner of Bathurst and Sheppard not too long ago. I went there to meet a friend for a coffee. And as I pulled into the coffee shop, there was this tent set up with this little table. And the roof of the tent said Uber. The tent had some four or five young people, and there was this young woman, very bubbly. She was recruiting people for Uber.

But I sat there for a few minutes, and imagine this: they were offering you a job and free gas! So I thought to myself “wow, how does it get better than that? Here they are on street corners offering you a job! And free gas as well!”

Well, it then dawned on me that Uber is no more than an app based recruitment agency! That is really their function. That is at the core of who they are.

You know what the lifespan of an Uber? Three months. And the wage? $11.00 per hour (Source: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/) . That’s not a job. As a worker, you are better off delivering pizzas or working at Wal-Mart. More job security and better pay.

You know who the real winner in all of this is? It’s not even the consumer. Uber only cares about the bottom line. Cases like a man who got charged over $1000 for a 40 minute ride are not the exception (Source: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/uber-customers-taking-legal-action-for-expensive-new-year-s-eve-rides-1.2729078). The winner is Uber. It’s the recruitment agency. They want to monopolize the industry so that they can charge whatever they want. When they can they try to gauge employees and consumers. If the competition was gone, your Uber ride would go through the roof.

For the workers, the drivers, they already had a tough time. There’s shift drivers, there’s agents, there’s brokers, there’s license-plate owners and people who own cars, it was never a playing field. The drivers were overworked and not well paid in general. Uber is no better and no different than any temp agency, but they are not even at the bad boss level. A bad boss may want to fire you without reason. Uber claims they have no employees driving cars. That they are just an app. What drivers get from this deal is little money, no future, and a little free gas. They end up paying for the vehicle, the insurance and yes, they pay for the gas too.

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