Author Topic: Uber Files: Greyballing, kill switches, lobbying - Uber's dark tricks revealed  (Read 322 times)

Rupert

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-f2971465-73d2-4932-a889-5c63778e273d



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The Uber Files are an unprecedented insight into how one of the world’s most notorious tech companies lobbied at the highest level to assist its aggressive expansion into Europe.

ugh...

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Kalanick “viewed violence as something that brought results”, says Mark MacGann. “It’s dangerous. It’s irresponsible. It’s also, in a way, very selfish. Because he was not the guy on the street who is being threatened, who is being attacked.”

A spokesperson for Travis Kalanick said he “never suggested that Uber should take advantage of violence at the expense of driver safety”.

more:

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In an email from the Netherlands, Uber deliberately sought to “keep the violence narrative going for a few days” as it shared police reports of attacks against its drivers with Dutch media.

Greyballing, never crossed my mind, I am so naive.






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ergophobe

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>>greyballing

I get that it is easy to geofence around police stations, but to ID police officers seems like a feat. And then to not simply block them, but to feed them false information... it seems like if that is not criminal, then there is basically no marketing that it prohibited.

The statements from corporate PR/legal about how Uber has "always" done this honorable thing makes me so glad I did not go into corporate communications.

I have mixed feelings, however, about classifying drivers as employees. It seems to me that the root problems are best dealt with in other ways and over the long term, the concept of the "employee" will progressively weaken. We have gone through an economic "moment" in the last 150 years where large numbers of people were employees, but that strikes me as an anomaly in human history and not likely to persist.

I would prefer to see us make strides toward a just society that does not depend on how a person's relationship with their source of income is classified.

If I become an "employee" of Uber, then don't they gain the right to demand that I not drive for Lyft or Door Dash?

In the US, this is primarily tied to health insurance, which is a horrible step function for small companies. Once they hit the 20-employee threshold, the cost per employee goes way way up. I calculated once that my benefits at the hotel were worth $22/hour. Some of these (paid leave) scale with salary, but some (health insurance) do not. When a $13/hr employee goes from 29 hours to 30 hours, that person immediately becomes a roughly $28/hr employee. To the credit of management at the hotel, they did not try to manage to 29 hours. But a friend who just sold the business that made her a millionaire many times over had almost no staff working more than 29 hours.

The point being, the rules governing who is and who is not an employee lead to exploitation as well. I'm really not convinced that Uber is worse on this score than every retail company in America using Kronos to keep 90% of the staff below 29 hours.

And honestly, I do not judge those companies in a moral/ethical sense. The government created an incentive system that predictably would lead to lots of jobs capped at 29 hours. Just another day in the winner-take-all economy.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2022, 03:29:54 PM by ergophobe »