Tens of thousands of rideshare drivers across Australia didn’t pick up passengers for transport giant Uber during Monday morning’s commute in protest to make its service fairer for drivers.
Ride Share Drivers United want Uber to stop using upfront pricing and go back to paying drivers for the actual time and distance travelled, to allow for unexpected traffic, stops or even road closures.
The group wants drivers to be allowed to opt-out of UberPool without penalties and be paid the equivalent of UberX base rates plus at least an extra 20 per cent if they have to pick-up more passengers at multiple stops.
The protest also calls to increase UberX rates by at least 15 per cent under the protest.
Drivers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart and Perth logged off between 7am to 9.30am on Monday in the call for Uber to meet their demands within 10 days or face more disruptions.
“The issue we raise is countrywide and mostly in Melbourne and Sydney,” Max, spokesman for the group, said.
“You have a multinational corporation which is exploiting drivers and customers get cheap rides and that comes at the expense of drivers who take home less than minimum wage.
“Uber never consults drivers. Uber needs to bring prices to sustainable levels.”
He said customers should not have to bear the brunt of the increased payments for drivers, rather Uber should cut back its commission on rides.
An Uber spokeswoman told AAP the company wanted successful driver-partners so it had invested in technology to encourage more riders to share tips about the best times and places to drive.
“We have a range of channels for driver-partners to engage with Uber and provide feedback including regular round tables and focus groups, partner support centres around Australia, plus phone and 24/7 in-app support,” she said in a statement.