Uber and Lyft Drivers filed a class-action lawsuit against the companies on Tuesday. The reason for doing so was a lack of transparency while selecting rides and alleged price-fixing which lowers driver pay.
Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have their own explanations for these actions, some of which do sound reasonable. But these features are hurting drivers’ pockets. Uber and Lyft campaigned for a ballot in 2020 to give the drivers an independent contractor status in California.
All was going well and drivers were on board with the ballot but the judge didn’t approve it. Now, drivers are complaining that the company inhibits them to operate as independent contractors.
Uber and Lyft Drivers: The Problem
As mentioned above, the campaigning was all about giving the drivers an independent contractor status. But some experts are touting it as a smart move to get rid of all the expenses that are associated with employees.
If these companies deem them as employees, it means that they have to offer other employee benefits to their drivers, which is expensive. By giving them an independent contractor status, Uber and Lyft cunningly save a lot of money. They also minimized their liabilities in the process.
The new decisions are making matters even worse for the drivers. They demand that as independent contractors, they should have a say in determining fares – something which Uber and Lyft don’t want. Uber and Lyft want to control the pricing to appear lucrative to users.
The whole point of these transport companies (Uber claims to be a mobility service provider) is to offer rides and get the maximum commission. But the drivers get very less because companies want the lion’s share of the ride fare.
Drivers’ complaint highlights some of the pain points which actually make sense. They want to know the destination of every ride so that they can decide whether it is doable or not. If it is out of their way, they can cancel it.
But Uber introduced a new condition that drivers would be able to see the destination only if they accept 5 out of 10 rides. Drivers want transparency and control over pricing and destination so that they can do actual independent work. But the lawsuit proves that Uber and Lyft will budge only if authorities remind them what’s good for their drivers.