Are Uber Drivers About To Get Some Overdue Respect From The Company?

The company's CEO just made a revealing admission. Are Uber Drivers About To Get Some Overdue Respect From The Company? Giphy

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The gig economy has been a boon to some workers, but the real winners have clearly been companies that get all of the benefits of employees without being required to treat them as such. This means no mandated minimum wage or healthcare benefits, leaving many contractors feeling exploited by their pseudo-employers.

But the CEO of one company frequently mentioned in such conversations appears to be changing his tune.

“We took our drivers for granted”

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has seen his company flourish in recent years, due in no small part to the high-pressure jobs performed by drivers across the country and around the world.

During an event in India this week, he acknowledged that Uber’s focus — at least prior to the pandemic — was disproportionately on customers.

“We took our drivers for granted, to some extent,” he said. “We were generally over-supplied, we were much more of a consumer-focused company, and the customer — the rider or eater — was always right.”

The pandemic effect

During the COVID-era shutdowns, Uber was among the many companies that saw demand plummet … and as a result, so did revenue. But it was the drivers, Khosrowshahi explained, who bore much of the burden and still showed up to keep the company chugging along until the economic tides turned.

“Ultimately, the power of Uber is the six and a half million earners who are on our platform and the services they provide for everybody,” he declared.

Khosrowshahi even stepped out of his office and into the driver’s seat last year for a first-hand experience.

His renewed appreciation for drivers might sound nice, but it doesn’t mean all of those drivers are happy with the arrangement. Earlier this month, Uber contractors joined drivers for other ride-share platforms in a strike for better conditions and more sustainable compensation.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee February 23rd, 2024
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