This Week In Rideshare: Pay, Gig Work and ‘Sucks’.

LegalRideshare
4 min readSep 8, 2023

Reno drivers want better pay, gig workers try to innovate and Uber’s CEO gets frank. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

MONDAY 9/4/23

Uber Eats is using AI. Forecourt Trader reported:

When a customer launches the chatbot, the software shows a message that says the “AI assistant was designed to help you find relevant restaurant dishes and more,” according to wording within the code, which was discovered by developer Steve Moser and shared with Bloomberg. The Uber chatbot will likely ask customers to type in their budget and food preferences and help them place an order.

TUESDAY 9/5/23

Uber drivers in Reno demand better pay. ABC8 reported:

Hundreds of Uber drivers protested Wednesday at the Uber Hub in Las Vegas, demanding better pay. This after a disappointing weekend in wages despite the heavy traffic from the Beyonce concert.

Like her, drivers who spoke with KOLO8 News Now say, they’re being impacted by the lack of surge pricing. According to Uber, this means that when demand is high, prices go up for riders and drivers.

“For instance, with a concert that comes into town and once it lets out, you could see a $20 to $40 dollar surge on the driver side of it,” said a driver.

WEDNESDAY 9/6/23

Gig Workers are trying to innovate. Fast Company reported:

Berenize and hundreds of workers like her are partners with The Workers Lab in an innovative effort to make this kind of gig work a reality. Set to launch with government, business, and local community leaders in Chicago, Portland, and Oakland this month, this effort will test at scale the nation’s first public tech platform for good gig work, which was initially piloted in Long Beach.

The platform gives local leaders the ability to match gig workers with tailored work opportunities, and gives gig workers the ability to control who they gig for, when, and for how much — all while ensuring they have critical rights, benefits, and protections. Our initial pilot demonstrated higher hourly wages and worker satisfaction. It’s an example of how worker-centered innovation and experimentation can help us figure out how to make gig work good — and thereby make the economy more fair and inclusive for everyone

THURSDAY 9/7/23

A proposal is Massachusetts is getting a second wind. TechCrunch reported:

The state’s attorney general, Andrea Campbell, on Wednesday approved backers of the ballot measure to begin collecting the tens of thousands of signatures for the measure to appear on the November 2024 ballot after certifying the questions met constitutional requirements.

Campbell also greenlit a competing ballot initiative from the union SEIU Local 32BJ that would allow drivers to unionize and bargain collectively for better working conditions and compensation.

The dueling proposals encapsulate the crux of the gig worker question. The app-based gig companies supporting the ballot initiative to keep gig workers as independent contractors argue that such a classification will enable the workers to maintain the flexible work schedules they value. Labor rights activists backing the union proposal argue companies have been failing to provide proper worker protections and benefits like workers’ compensation or even a basic human wage. One 2021 study found workers in Massachusetts could earn $4.82 per hour if the previous ballot measure passed.

FRIDAY 9/8/23

Uber’s CEO admits the company ‘sucks’. Fortune reported

In fact, he once hosted an all-hands presentation for Uber staff titled “Why We Suck,” in which he detailed a “lack of quality” in the product.

“It wasn’t a pleasant all-hands with the company,” Khosrowshahi recalled at an event on Wednesday. “But it set a tone.”

“It showed me literally that we as a company culturally were very much focused on the rider and the eater product because we used it ourselves,” Khosrowshahi said. “But we didn’t take pride in the driver product because very few of us drove.”

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LegalRideshare

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