Around 1000 Taxi drivers for the multinational company Uber (an online taxi company) went on a 24 hour strike yesterday and held a midday protest outside the Birmingham Uber offices at Newhall Street.
Above and below: Uber drivers protesting outside Newhall Street Uber offices, Birmingham
The action has been called to highlight various issues such as reducing passenger fares without consulting the staff and penalising/suspending the self-employed drivers if they turn down a fare.
A spokesperson for the Uber Drivers said “The fare deductions have forced us to do more fares for less money.
“Uber continue to insist drivers are earning more, but only states gross takings without even basic deductions for insurance, fuel and other running costs.”
By penalising the staff by taking them off the books if they refuse to pick up a fare (for instance if the distance is too far) means the drivers are forced into a situation where they have to take on a job even if they will not be earning a real wage from it.
The company Uber has also recently come under scrutiny for tax avoidance as despite making massive profits within the UK they do not pay their fair share of taxes back into the UK economy. The treatment of their staff and the race to the bottom with their wages is just another example of how the big business will seek to exploit workers in order to make more profit and pump these riches into the 1%.
Birmingham Socialist Party fully supports the action taken by the Uber drivers and calls on the Union leaders to put pressure on the government to legally end such exploitation of workers and ensure companies such as Uber are no longer able to rob wages from their staff. Socialist Parties sister organisation Socialist Alternative in the USA have also been supporting the Uber drivers there in their struggle with the employer.