In these frightening, lonely times, demand – be it for food – is on Order-made food or household items – much more in demand than usual. In a move that is supposed to help its drivers “find new ways to make money,” Uber asks them to deliver groceries for its courier company, Uber Eats.
In a blog published on their website This week, Uber-Eats chief Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty announced that drivers in more than a dozen cities in the United States had the opportunity to toggle the in-app between delivering and picking up and returning, even if you have never driven for Uber Eats in the past. This is seen as an opportunity for drivers to make more money, but more clearly, Uber is doing the best for Uber's bottom line – not necessarily that of its drivers.
"While it is still too early to say what the impact of the coronavirus crisis will be on the overall delivery of food, we see signals that people rely more on delivery services," the blog says. “The impact has varied widely from city to city and country to country, but cities like Seattle and San Francisco have seen a surge in Uber Eats food delivery requests recently. In the United States and Canada, the number of restaurants that want to offer deliveries has also increased significantly as dinner has been restricted – including a 10-fold increase in self-registrations. “
Both cities listed here – San Francisco and Seattle – are hotspots for the spread of Covid-19 disease, at which people need to seek protection at home and for themselves in the event of illness. And, as the company found, Uber has seen an increase in the use of its delivery service in these areas. Citing a source familiar with the matter, information this week reported that Uber Eats sales increased 10 percent last week from the previous week, which the website calls “unprecedented” this season has been.
] "This is an uncertain time for all of us, and business as usual looks very different from a few weeks ago," said an Uber spokeswoman for the information in a statement. "We focus on being there for restaurants, delivery agents and their customers to create a safe and reliable marketplace now and in the long run."
Of course job opportunities for drivers who may not earn as much as it usually will will be of paramount importance in the coming months as the United States addresses the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic . But the company asking driver for deliveries is not the altruistic gesture that makes Uber.
Increased person-to-person contact – be it by picking up food from a restaurant employee If you buy groceries in a grocery store or deliver an order to an Uber Eats customer, this person is at higher risk. Touching surfaces such as door handles every time you enter or leave a facility also puts you at risk, and couriers may not have the necessary access to the hand sanitizers or soap and water they need to protect themselves or others. In his blog post, Uber said that "the safety and well-being of everyone who uses Uber is our priority", but the company does not take the necessary precautions to protect its drivers and mitigate the spread of the disease in the community
According to a report by Reuters earlier this week, a Postmates and Uber driver in Texas who experienced symptoms of Covid-19 after driving a sick person had a test for the disease on his visit denies a hospital about its condition – and in fact access to tests is one of the biggest challenges for the US as the disease continues to spread. But in order to receive sick pay from Uber – similar to other appearances or contract work – it had to be tested positive or quarantined by a health authority.
In a situation he described as "impossible" for Reuters, the driver reportedly continued to work for Postmates to avoid being evicted from a motel where he was staying. The man told Reuters that he "tried to be tested and I tried to seek financial help" but that Uber ultimately needed the documentation. After reporting the company's symptoms, he says Uber has closed his account. According to Reuters, he currently lives in his vehicle. Uber did not immediately return a request for comment on the incident.
When asked to decide to encourage drivers to take up work that would improve their person-to-person contact and potentially put them at higher risk of being exposed to Covid-19, the company said it approved Leaving the door. off, "works" to provide drivers with disinfectant products, and encourages people to tip their couriers – by putting the offer of good faith, higher income, directly on the shoulders of customers.
"Security is essential to Uber and is central to what we do," the company said in a statement to Gizmodo. "In response to the continuing spread of coronavirus, we reminded Uber Eats users that they can have deliveries on their doorstep by selecting" Leave at the door "at the checkout. We hope this will be for everyone on the Platform will be helpful. "
Uber did not answer Gizmodo's question as to whether couriers will be offered a higher basic salary during this time, even if the demand for the service increases and there is a personal risk for the driver to do the job. It also answered did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would offer sick pay to workers with symptoms of Covid-19 who may not have access to a test due to the scarce supply.
This week it was reported that an Uber -Driver in Queens died after he stopped driving to avoid Covid-19. His cousin told the New York Post that the perso n stopped driving after picking up a sick person from JFK Airport and transporting them to Westchester County. Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, told the post in a statement that he was "deeply saddened by the news."
But if anything, this incident proves again that Uber's claim that security is "the heart of everything we do" is bullshit. This means nothing of his refusal to classify his drivers as employees or his fucking in response to contractors trying to maintain unemployment. Uber can't be seen as a nice guy looking for his own bottom line in terms of the health and safety of his workforce.