Ride-sharing app Uber has been under fire this week for not taking part in a strike organized by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. After President Donald Trump signed an executive order limiting travel from a handful of nations, Taxi Workers opted to strike in New York as a way to show displeasure, and some felt Uber was obligated to join. It did not, which got the company labeled “scum” by at least one popular automotive site.
However, the presumption by anti-Trump leftists that Uber should be expected to align with the forces attempting to regulate it out of existence is laughable.
For several years now, the dinosaur taxi industry has worked against ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft for no reason beyond self-protection. Now they expect Uber to join with them, but offered no reason why they should. Would their hostility to the ride-sharing business model end? Of course not.
The union simply felt that Uber should throw in with them because of the supposed righteousness of the cause. Unfortunately, they fail to understand Uber’s business model well enough to know how unworkable that would be in the first place.
Ride-sharing apps like Uber don’t hire drivers. Instead, they attract people who are interested in using their own cars, gas, and insurance to give other people rides. They don’t have driver employees, they contract with drivers who are essentially self-employed. In fact, some drivers work with multiple apps to maximize their earning.
If one app fails to consider their partners and takes part in a “strike,” then their partners can’t earn with that app. But if a second app doesn’t join in, guess what happens? Drivers may well abandon the striking app, and anyone with a functioning brain can see where that would lead these companies.
So rideshare companies like Uber let their partners decide if they wanted to take part in the strike or not. After all, even if there was no formal acknowledgment of the strike by management, individual drivers decide whether or not to work.
For those attacking Uber, however, nothing matters. Uber didn’t join, so Uber is scum.
There will never be a logical reason for Uber to join with the taxi union and against its own interests, but we clearly can’t expect a mob of leftists to grasp that anytime soon.