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  • In the last video, we talked about freelancing work,

  • including new technology-mediated work

  • arrangements.

  • In this video, we're going to take a look at Uber

  • as a case study.

  • Many of you have probably heard of Uber by now.

  • Their main business model is to connect

  • people who need a ride with drivers

  • who are willing to drive them, using

  • their own personal vehicle.

  • And if this sounds suspiciously like a cab company,

  • you're right.

  • Uber competes directly with traditional cab companies.

  • In contrast, however, Uber drivers use their own vehicle.

  • And this means they're responsible for the costs

  • associated with maintenance and repair, the wear and tear

  • on their own vehicle, and largely

  • fueling their own vehicle.

  • The main service provided by Uber

  • is this technology, which connects people and facilitates

  • automatic payments.

  • Early on, Uber and companies like it,

  • were seen as ushering in a new and very exciting

  • model of work.

  • There was high flexibility in terms of when you worked,

  • and where you worked.

  • Uber even claimed early on that the median salary for a driver,

  • working at least 40 hours a week in New York City,

  • was $90,000 a year.

  • Since then, people have begun to challenge these figures.

  • And darker aspects of work at Uber have begun to surface.

  • Uber started out with higher fares, for example.

  • But has cut them on multiple occasions,

  • in order to try to better compete

  • with traditional cab companies.

  • In fact, there are reports that UberX drivers, UberX

  • being the most commonly used, lowest-cost service,

  • make only a little bit more than traditional cab drivers.

  • And again, these drivers are responsible for the costs

  • associated with using their own vehicle

  • over extended periods of time.

  • And there's some evidence that Uber drivers

  • are becoming increasingly disgruntled,

  • because of this price cutting, because

  • of verbal abuse by passengers, and a perception of apathy

  • on the part of Uber to do anything about it.

  • They're frustrated, as well, because of the ranking system,

  • which will essentially make them lose

  • their job if their passenger rating falls

  • below a certain level.

  • And some workers in some areas like California,

  • have begun to try to organize and collectively bargain.

  • So, for example, in California drivers

  • formed CADA, the California App-based Drivers Association.

  • But these drivers face a tough and very difficult road ahead.

  • The US law does not require Uber to negotiate,

  • because these drivers are currently considered

  • independent contractors.

  • In other words, they're not employees

  • from Uber's point of view.

  • They're not their problem.

  • So as it stands, this association,

  • the California App-based Drivers Association,

  • is trying to bring publicity to some of these issues.

  • But it doesn't have very much leverage beyond that.

  • So the question that I would pose to you

  • as a class is, what do you recommend

  • that Uber drivers do to improve their employment circumstances?

  • I encourage you to join in discussion

  • with your fellow classmates in the next segment

  • of this course.

In the last video, we talked about freelancing work,

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B1 US uber cab vehicle begun association california

Uber Case Study

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    鄭詠方 posted on 2020/02/23
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