Friday, February 5, 2016

Uber Drivers Aim to Disrupt Super Bowl 50

MoJo reports:
 [A] group of disgruntled Uber drivers...aims to kneecap the car-hailing service precisely when and where it will be most in demand: Super Bowl Sunday in the Bay Area.

Striking drivers reportedly intend to slow traffic near the stadium and inundate the streets around crowded Super Bowl events.

For Uber, the stakes are high. The big game is in Santa Clara, about an hour from Uber's SF headquarters. The company has chipped in $250,000 to $500,000 in cash and services to sponsor the Super Bowl Host Committee, according to Quartz. In return, it gets to be the first ride-sharing service allowed to access a Super Bowl game. It will even have exclusive pick-up and drop-off zones at the stadium—a coup for Uber's marketing department, assuming the company doesn't fall on its face.

And that's where Uber's labor problems may come back to haunt it. The drivers, who often make less than minimum wage, are angry because the company slashed fares nationwide over the past month. On Monday, several hundred of them protested at Uber's offices in San Francisco and New York.

The group behind the SF protest, United Uber Drivers, has pledged to hold a massive strike on Super Bowl Sunday, and some Uber drivers in other cities have said they will do the same in solidarity. According to the industry publication Ride Share Report, the drivers intend to slow highway traffic near the stadium and inundate the streets around crowded Super Bowl events in San Francisco.
Of course, lower rates means less revenue for Uber also, since Uber takes a percentage of the ride. Uber tends to lower rates this time of year to increase business during the slow winter months. It's basic supply and demand economics. I spoke to an Uber driver the other day who actually understood this.

Uber rates are now significantly below taxi rates (at least here in SF). Uber is really damaging the yellow taxi government oligopoly. "United Uber Drivers" sounds suspiciously like a union name and they are definitely using sophisticated protest techniques. From the page Uber Drivers Network :

Fellow Drivers,
We have some B I G PLANS mapped out for the next few days. Please be ready to take more MASSIVE action that will shake Uber to its core foundation and everyone who supports them in their oppression against drivers. The fight has just begun: if what we did this past Monday was massive (#1 Trend on Facebook and still #3, World Wide News coverage), then W A I T and see what we have planned next [If I was Uber, i'd really rethink my strategies and clean house if necessary of those advising with destroying the lives of drivers and their families].
What's next you ask? something that will S T R I K E at the core.

Some top level comments at the page:
Jimmy Cavello shut off radio at first. that will get their attention. then some kind of union or organization. just like yellow taxi
Abu Mouadh
Abu Mouadh We need to be united, driver makes this companies.

Makes you wonder.



  1. Did I miss the party where Uber was using some kind of force to make people drive for them? Seriously if you don't like the company you work for...just work somewhere else! How hard is that? There should be very little trouble finding a job in the bay area. But then again there are min wage people at McDonalds that think working min wage is some sort of a career path instead of a stepping stone to larger opportunity

  2. Here's an idea. If they don't like it at Uber, quit. It's pretty simple. Uber should terminate their relationship with these fools immediately.