That some to many don’t like Uber’s employment policies is true. But to think that taxi drivers are normally employees, with sick pay, holidays, fixed wages is to be simply ignorant. That’s not how the industry is or ever has been organised:
By now, most Americans are well acquainted with the “gig” economy. Companies reclassify their employees as contractors, thereby shedding costs and responsibilities for workplace rights and benefits. Uber is the prime example. The company claims to be a technology platform rather than an employer, transforming and upending the traditional relationship that a taxi company has with its staff and making drivers cheap, disposable widgets.
From the first page of web results for taxi driver employment structure:
Drivers will be paid a percentage of the fares they collect as commission. Based on our
estimations drivers can make anywhere from $15-$20 an hour in commission. Drivers will
also keep all tips given to them, which could add an extra $5-$20 an hour.
We will operate 24 hours a day which will require drivers to work either a 12 hour day shift or
12 hour night shift. The 12 hour shift will generally involve 8 hours of driving, 1 hour of breaks
and 3 hours on call at home. During the on call portion of the shift the driver will answer any
calls coming in and pick up passengers if requested but they would be free to relax at home
and would only be required to work if a ride is requested.
That’s from British Columbia, that well known outpost of Canadian worker oppression and capitalism.
At least try to begin to understand. You may not like Uber’s employment policies but they are reasonably standard for the taxi industry. Very few to no drivers are salaried or hourly paid employees.