Author: Wayne

Uber’s legal grey zone

Uber’s legal grey zone

Uber called its recent union deal ‘historic.’ A new complaint alleges it was actually against the law.

The Verge / BuzzFeed News

This story appears in the November 27, 2016, issue of The Verge. You can subscribe to get alerts delivered to your email box.

I first had to deal with Uber on a number of occasions, but never in the way that you’re talking about in the article above. That’s because I never actually used it. Until yesterday, when the story first broke about the company’s latest labour dispute with its drivers.

Uber has a system where drivers get to choose when to work, and when to take the day off. When you think about it, it makes sense. Drivers are the ones who make the money. It would be unfair for me to expect Uber to pay me a living wage so long as I had other people working in the same city and at the same time who were making less money than me, while I was only able to make a buck or two.

That is, until the law decided to stop it. Since the 1980s, Uber has been operating in a legal grey zone, where companies like it get to choose who they can contract with to do their work. In fact, Uber has been operating under different laws and regulations to the vast majority of companies in the world, including regular taxi companies. Companies like it get to pick and choose which laws they can break, and they can pick which rules to ignore — with almost no repercussions.

That’s why I use Uber rather than other options when I’m in a new city. For example, it’s much cheaper to order a cab in London than by taxi, and almost everything is provided for you. But because Uber is not regulated, it can pick and choose which laws it does and doesn’t want to respect. In fact, there’s no legal reason why the taxi regulation laws it needs to abide by shouldn’t apply to the company. Any time it breaks a regulation, Uber has to accept the consequences. It’s called ‘voluntary compliance.’

The other grey

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