16/03/2017 14:41 SAST | Updated 16/03/2017 14:55 SAST

Uber Is Now Using A Podcast To Try To Dissuade Drivers From Organising

This is the latest salvo in the company's long-running battle to pay its drivers as little as possible.

A man exits the Uber offices in Queens, New York, U.S., February 2, 2017.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A man exits the Uber offices in Queens, New York, U.S., February 2, 2017.

Uber is having a bad month of March. Fresh off serious sexism allegations aired by an ex-employee, and the video of founder Travis Kalanick screaming at a driver who questioned company practices, the ride-sharing company is now under fire for producing an 18-episode podcast aimed at dissuading its drivers from unionising. The podcasts are an in-app function for drivers.

The company's treatment of its drivers is by far its longest-running controversy, and has been the subject of multiple lawsuits around the world. Now, the company is trying to stop unionisation in the Seattle with a podcast that is trying to stop drivers from joining the Teamsters union. This is after the city ruled that unions are allowed to organise independent contractors.

"Uber will now be required to hand over contact information for its drivers to the organizers, who have 120 days to gather support from those who joined the platform before Oct. 20, 2016, and have taken at least 52 rides within a three-month period," QZ reported.

"During Steger's two-and-a-half hours of podcasts, she argues that unionizing would take away drivers' right to represent themselves to Uber, that the union will collect dues from drivers regardless of whether they support union, and that the union just wants drivers' money. It warns drivers that union officials may stalk them or deceive them into giving their signatures in support of the organization effort," said QZ.