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The Uber drivers forced to sleep in parking lots to make a decent living

May 8, 2019

By Kari Paul : theguardian – excerpt

A growing group who commute from places as far as eight hours away spend the night in their cars to pick up fares around San Francisco during the day

Every Saturday morning before the sun rises, 35-year-old Uber driver Sultan Arifi rolls up the sleeping bag in the front seat of his car, places it in the trunk, and prepares for another day of work…

The 35-year-old immigrant from Afghanistan commutes into San Francisco from Modesto, some 80 miles away, where he lives in an apartment with his wife and four children. He is one of a growing group of Uber drivers in San Francisco who spend nights in their cars in parking lots across the Bay Area on the weekends. Some come from places as far as eight hours away to make a living before returning home.

Arifi will be joining fellow Uber drivers in San Francisco and seven other cities across the US on Wednesday in a 12-hour strike protesting against low wages ahead of the company’s public offering later this week. Drivers have four main demands: a living wage, transparency in decision-making, employee benefits, and a voice in company decisions.

“They are just taking care of themselves, they don’t care about us,” Arifi said of Uber’s leadership…

Decreasing pay, increasing costs

As Uber prepares to go public this week, there is growing unrest among drivers like Arifi who say they are not getting a big enough piece of the company’s ballooning profits.

Uber has been valued at as much as $91bn, and the company’s IPO is expected to turn some millionaires on the board into billionaires…

Drivers like Arifi say that’s not enough, and argue they they are taking home less money than ever. Arifi said he now has to work nearly twice as many hours to take home the same amount of income he earned when he first started driving…(more)

A major problem with the “gig economy” and their vision of “congestion pricing” is that the system hooks people in and then, and then screws them. There is no way that Uber can offer a cheaper service than taxis. Car costs are the same. For corporate to profit, they must take the cut out of someone and the only place is the driver or the rider. They take it out of both.

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