Uber is set to face a class-action lawsuit for alleged underpayment of drivers and violating work agreement, known as the Technology Services Agreement (TSA) in North Carolina in US, according to a report of Ars Technica. The portal reports that Martin Dulberg, a driver who was apparently underpaid by the Uber, will now a class of about 9,000 similarly affected drivers.
Dulberg had filed a lawsuit in federal court last year alleging that the company is consistently underpaying him and many drivers like him, and that the Uber is supposed to 80% of a fare and was paying the same since long time, but now Uber has changed the way or its ‘own formula’ of calculation, and consistently pays between 70% to 80%—but not the full 80 percent—of what the fare should be. A trial date has been sceduled for October 29, 2018 in San Francisco.
Uber drivers in India
Note that while Uber is allegedly violating its agreed payment terms in the US. In India, it has been in the headlines for the issue that they very low incentives to drivers. MediaNama quickly tried speaking to few Uber drivers in Delhi about the exact numbers, but we could not get the clear picture. One or two rather said that they (driver) work on salary-basis and car owners get to earn the revenues, and said that this a very common model in India.
We have had reported earlier that there have been protests by the drivers. Early this year, drivers associated with online cab aggregators Ola and Uber called a strike in Chennai. Uber has about 4.5 lakh taxis on the road across India. Driver protests have been increasing over the last year with the latest call in December in Mumbai. This came in the in the backdrop of the Maharashtra government saying it will fix both minimum and maximum fares for app-based taxi companies during the winter session of the state’s legislative assembly.
In India, as Ola and Uber have tweaked their incentive plans which led to reduced incomes. Drivers MediaNama spoke to said that in 2016 and 2015, they had monthly earnings of Rs 85,000 and Rs 70,000. Now their earnings have fallen to around Rs 51,000. The driver recordings and interviews show that drivers are now earning around Rs 1,700 per day and they say that this barely covers the cost of fuel and servicing of their cars. If a driver earns Rs 1700 a day for 30 days, his income is Rs 51,000. Their monthly loan EMI ranges between Rs 11,000 to Rs 16,000. Their car maintenance and fuel set them back by at least Rs 500 to Rs 700 each day. Even taking Rs 500 as an average, their monthly expenditure for this comes to Rs 15,000.