Tag: companys

07
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Uber engineer speaks out against company’s $186M campaign, says it’ll hurt drivers

As Uber has poured tens of millions of dollars into a California ballot measure to avoid classifying its drivers as employees, one engineer from inside the ride-hailing company spoke out against this campaign on Tuesday. In an op-ed published by TechCrunch, Kurt Nelson said Uber doesn’t have drivers’ interests in mind.

“Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick,” Nelson wrote. “But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor.”


Nelson is one of only a handful of gig economy company employees to speak out against Proposition 22. It’s been historically rare to see tech workers criticize their employers’ positions. But that’s starting to change. Google employees organized walk-outs in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and Facebook employees staged a virtual protest in June after the company refused to take down inflammatory posts by President Donald Trump.


Nelson said he’s been a software engineer at Uber for two years, writing code for the company’s Android app. But when he was in college, he drove for the ride-hailing company Lyft. He said that experience gave him insight into what it’s like to be a driver and how difficult it can be when workers don’t have benefits.

Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies currently classify their drivers as independent contractors, which means the workers pay for their own expenses, such as gas, car maintenance and insurance. Drivers also don’t have labor benefits like minimum wage, health insurance or paid sick leave. If they were to be classified as employees, many of those costs would then fall onto the companies.

In an effort to give gig workers

06
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Uber engineer speaks out on company’s $186M campaign, says it’ll hurt drivers

uber-7897

Uber and Lyft drivers have held several protests in California demanding to be classified as employees.


James Martin/CNET

As Uber has poured tens of millions of dollars into a California ballot measure to avoid classifying its drivers as employees, one engineer from inside the ride-hailing company spoke out against this campaign on Tuesday. In an op-ed in TechCrunch, Kurt Nelson said that Uber doesn’t have drivers’ interests in mind.

“Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick,” Nelson wrote. “But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor.”

Nelson is one of only a handful of gig economy company employees to speak out against Proposition 22. It’s been historically rare to see tech workers criticize their employers’ positions. But that’s starting to change. Google employees organized walk-outs in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and Facebook employees staged a virtual protest in June after the company refused to take down inflammatory posts by President Donald Trump.

Nelson said he’s been a software engineer at Uber for two years writing code for the company’s Android app. But when he was in college, he drove for the ride-hailing company Lyft. He said that experience gave him insight into what it’s like to be a driver and how difficult it can be when workers don’t have benefits.

Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies currently classify their drivers as independent contractors, which means the workers pay for their own expenses, such as gas, car maintenance and insurance. Drivers also don’t have labor benefits