If one issue has remained constant in Uber, it has been the controversy generated around the treatment, guarantees and benefits it provides to its drivers, which in most of the markets in which the firm operates, lack any social security and do not have a fixed salary.
For Uber, the matter has been drawn from a constant battle in the field of public relations and that has motivated various legal battles in some parts of the world.
For Uber, a benchmark in the market, this type of questioning and issues is nothing new. The company has had to pay hundreds of fines and compensation for related issues, which, in recent months, led it to take a conflicting position.
In recent months, a recent column signed by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi claimed that the platform workers deserve to enjoy “the best of both worlds”: benefits and job flexibility.
In the aforementioned opinion piece published in The New York Times, Khosrowshahi launched a proposal to legislators to require the companies that form the so-called gig economy to create benefit funds that provide workers with “cash that they can use for benefits they want, like health insurance or paid time off ”.
This position is interesting after the regulatory authorities of the state of California released the resolution on the new California workers on demand law, issued earlier this year, but which had been appealed by Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc, as it was the companies most affected.
The truth is that in other parts of the world this struggle seems to have begun to bear fruit. In recent hours, UK courts have just rejected a request by Uber to dismiss a 2016 case decision. As a result, according to ., it will have to grant a group of drivers the worker qualification, which gives them right to certain labor rights such as minimum wage and certain benefits.
The truth is that all these types of problems generate losses for Uber’s business, a company that in recent months has suffered the effects of the pandemic.
Thus, the platform seems to be looking for a way to minimize any situation that keeps it in this critical view and now it has apparently forced Google to eliminate an app that could affect its plans to distance itself from these controversies.
This is the UberCheats extension that allows drivers and delivery people on the platform to know when Uber would have paid them less than fair.
The ban on this app was denounced by its creator, Armin Samii, who explained that Uber attacked its creation by arguing that it violated its brand, according to Vice.
“Uber has presented a false claim of its brand against UberCheats, so they have removed it from the Chrome app store,” the developer denounced from Twitter while affirming “they say that people could mistake it for an Uber product.”
In his defense, Samii indicated that he created this tool to keep Uber drivers and delivery people better informed, since “sometimes Uber calculates the distance from point A to B incorrectly,” the creator explained to Motherboard in an email, where also assures “my bet is that they use the distance in a straight line rather than the actual distance traveled. In my area, that takes a ‘6 minute’ trip to take 50, because they think I can fly I guess. Technically, the application is quite simple. It seems that at the beginning / end of the trip, it is combined with Google Maps and verifies that the distance for which you were paid matches what Google says ”.
The extension was available from August 2020 to February 15, since Googel assured that it would have filed it because it infringed “the brand of others”.