Narrative: Uber Treats Drivers Badly

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    Narrative: Uber Treats Drivers Badly (Jan 28, 2017)

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    Uber Reports $50m in Tips Paid, More Controls and Flexibility for Drivers (Aug 22, 2017)

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    Uber Tests Allowing Drivers to Pick Dropoff Areas, Risking Discrimination (Aug 16, 2017)

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    Uber Knowingly Leased Faulty Cars to Drivers in Singapore (Aug 3, 2017)

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    Uber Talking to SEC About Giving Drivers Equity (Jun 29, 2017)

    According to Axios, Uber has been meeting with the Securities and Exchange Commission to discuss giving drivers equity in the company. As the piece notes, this was something recently-acquired ride sharing startup Juno promised to do, but which it found legally difficult given SEC regulations. Of course, if drivers were employees, there would be entirely standard ways to deal with stock-based compensation, but the combination of the fact that Uber is a private company and drivers are contractors rather than employees make this more complex. Given the historical meteoric rise of Uber’s valuation, I could certainly see the appeal for drivers of getting a stake in the company, though the attraction will have waned a little as there have been reports of shares selling at lower prices in the private markets over recent months. Longer term, there are still big questions about whether Uber’s valuation will continue to grow if it doesn’t have a clear path to profitability and doesn’t seem to be winning decisively against Lyft and other big competitors in its important markets. And its big investment in autonomous driving is another potential huge cash sink which isn’t guaranteed to pay off, especially given the distraction and uncertainty created by the Waymo lawsuit and the departure of Anthony Levandowski and Travis Kalanick in recent weeks. Still, Uber does seem to be genuinely interested in trying to find ways to improve its relationship with drivers recently, and this is another potential step in that direction.

    via Axios

    Uber’s Leasing Company Referrals in NYC Lead to Predatory Contracts (Jun 27, 2017)

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    Uber Adds Tipping and Makes Other Driver-Friendly Changes (Jun 20, 2017)

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    Uber Has Been Underpaying NYC Drivers, Will Pay Out an Average of $900 to Each (May 23, 2017)

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    ★ Uber is Charging Dynamic Prices for Rides, Widening Gap with Driver Payments (May 19, 2017)

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    NYC Taxi Regulator Mulling Forcing Uber to Add Tipping Option in its App (Apr 17, 2017)

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