[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.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.
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.
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 :
Makes you wonder.