Uber in Trouble Down-Under and Elsewhere

Uber, the San Francisco based multi-national transportation company that provides ride-haling (NB: not taxi’s) services amongst other things, is in trouble in Australia. According to lawyers, Uber has agreed to pay USD173 million to settle a law suit brought against them by 8000 taxi operators and drivers.

The case had alleged that the ride-haling company had moved aggressively into the country and effectively committed acts of unfair competition, similar to what the French taxi drivers are claiming.  According to the lawyers Uber fought “tooth-and-nail” all along the way. They seem to neglect the fact that Uber had already contributed some significant sums of money to various state level taxi compensation schemes.

Uber, Kia, give free rides for the Australian Open | news.com.au —  Australia's leading news site

Your phone is now the meter.

For the old-school taxi drivers there is nothing stopping them from ditching their dodgy meters and continuing to be a taxi driver but in a business that is more customer-centric, heck, they would spend less time at the taxi-rank and more time on the road which has to be a good thing, right?

It does seem that it is change that they are fighting, they are too comfortable and complacent and they would like to fight innovation by using the law.

Over the pond in Americaland, both Uber and their rival Lyft have said they will stop operating in Minneapolis from May 1st after the city council included ride-sharing drivers in the minimum wage law. 

In a nut-shell, this means that ride-sharing companies would be seen as the employer of anyone operating as a driver for their app and would have to guarantee them a minimum wage of USD15.57 per hour regardless of how many rides they accept.

And in New York, Uber and Lyft will have to pay USD290 million and USD38 million respectively to settle what the Attorney Generals office describe as the biggest multi-year wage theft in the States history.

Then there is the case of the on-going sexual assaults…

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