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May 7, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Uber Drivers to Stop Work for Day

Uber drivers around New Zealand are planning a “Uber Driver Day Off ” for Monday 14 May 2018, to raise awareness about unfair work conditions and bad management. This is unable to be referred to specifically as a “strike”, as Uber drivers are not unionised.
According to Ride Share Drivers Network NZ (RDN NZ), many issues are affecting New Zealand Uber drivers, including lack of job security, lack of communication from management, low pay, and lack of trust in drivers.
Drivers have apparently been taken off the app mid-shift because of a customer complaint, without having a chance to tell Uber their side of the story. “Uber looks after the riders more than drivers on every angle” said an anonymous Uber driver.

Uber has long been under scrutiny for tax-evasion and “under the table” dealings, and Uber drivers through the platform RDN NZ are rallying for change. RDN NZ has also said that Uber does not give drivers enough guidance around how to pay tax, which leads to inadvertent tax fraud through drivers’ ignorance about tax protocol. Drivers’ pay is often well below minimum wage, after costs. Drivers have to cover all of their own costs such as petrol, while 25-28% of their earnings go to Uber.
Uber has also made it unclear whether or not they provide commercial insurance to drivers. Uber has said to drivers that they only need personal insurance policies, which RDN NZ has called “encouraging insurance fraud”.
They said, “organising has been a challenge… a lot of drivers will be scared to say anything publicly”.
The Uber driver has said customer disrespect was another difficult aspect of the job. “We get very rude, selfish, and abusive kinds of people… mostly uni students… what the hell are the teachers teaching these students”.

One Victoria University student was asked if the “strike” would affect him. He said “yeah probably, I use Uber so much”. He also said that he wouldn’t consider using a taxi or Zoomy as an alternative to Uber. “Taxis are cold… it’s like sleeping with an ex. I might just stay at home that day.”
Zoomy is a New Zealand-based and owned ride share application similar to Uber, that started mid-2016, and operates in Auckland and Wellington only. According to a spokesperson from Zoomy, their drivers are charged up to 45% less than Uber drivers, and the organisation is “currently working on a partnership with another exciting local start-up to assist drivers with their tax obligations, as we understand this can be an area of confusion for them”. The spokesperson told Salient that Zoomy’s motto is “happy drivers, happy riders”.
Uber has not responded to a request for comment by the time of publishing.

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