Article 43


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Rise of the Temp Workers Part 14 - Uber’s Crony Capitalism


WHAT MOST OFTEN AILS THE LABOR MARKET is the typical corporations off-loading of lower-wage workers (and therefore any responsibility to treat them properly) onto another, usually smaller company. That frees both businesses to concentrate on core strengths. For the corporation, that’s producing Product X or Service X.  For the subcontractor or franchisee, thats skirting Labor Law Y or Labor Law Z.
- Rise of the Temp Workers Part 13 - How the Economy Got Restructured to Screw Workers

Corporate chieftains (backed by the economists and politicians they purchase) are creating what they call a workforce of non-employees for one reason: Greed. It directly transfers more money and power from workaday families into the coffers of moneyed elites.
- Rise Of The Temp Workers Part 9 - The Gig Economy

The structure of the labour market has fundamentally changed, and what we used to think of as unemployment has been replaced by mass part-time work, much of it unwanted.
- Unemployment is low only because “involuntary” part-time work is high - Business Insider, December 2019


Former Uber Executive Comes Out As Leaker

By Julia Mueller
The Hill
July 11, 2022

Mark MacGann, Uber’s former head of public policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has come forward as the whistleblower who leaked the “Uber Files,” more than 124,000 internal documents revealing evidence of the ride-hailing giant’s misconduct.

MacGann, who leaked the files to The Guardian, said in an interview with the outlet on Monday that he did so because “I am partly responsible” for what he believes to be unethical and illegal activity from the company.

“I was the one talking to governments, I was the one pushing this with the media, I was the one telling people that they should change the rules because drivers were going to benefit and people were going to get so much economic opportunity,” MacGann said.

“Uber attempted to carve out space for itself by battling taxi drivers and regulators in more than 40 countries, sometimes persuading government officials to join the fight,” MacGann said.

The company approach in these places was essentially to break the law, show how amazing Uber’s service was, and then change the law. My job was to go above the heads of city officials, build relations with the top level of government, and negotiate. It was also to deal with the fallout.

MacGann said he bought into Uber’s “dream” but eventually realized “we had actually sold people a lie.”

Uber spokesman Noah Edwardsen said in a statement that MacGann only had “praise for Uber” when he departed the company in 2016. “We understand that Mark has personal regrets about his years of steadfast loyalty to our previous leadership, but he is in no position to speak credibly about Uber today.”

Edwardsen claimed MacGann was recently paid 550,000 euros in a settlement with the company. It is noteworthy that Mark felt compelled to “blow the whistle only after his check cleared.”

The “Uber Files,” which The Guardian shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, show that the company also EXPLOITED VIOLENCE AGAINST ITS DRIVERS to garner sympathy and enhance its persuasion efforts.

After taxi driver protests against Uber in the Netherlands led to attacks against four drivers who used the ride-hailing company, executives discussed ways to “keep the violence narrative going for a few days and pump up publicity.”

“Excellent work. This is exactly what we wanted and the timing is perfect,” wrote MacGann after the incidents in communications from the leaked files.

Now, MacGann said, “I regret being part of a group of people which massaged the facts to earn the trust of drivers, of consumers and of political elites.”



Uber Files: Greyballing, kill switches, lobbying - Uber’s dark tricks revealed

By Nassos Stylianou, Becky Dale and Will Dahlgreen
Uber Files Reporting Team
July 11, 2022

In just over a decade, Uber has revolutionised how we move around our cities. The ride-hailing app was a game-changer: you just tapped your phone and a cab would find you. You even paid through the app.

The Californian tech company helped define the gig economy, where workers were seen as self-employed. Uber now has millions of drivers all over the world, and takes billions of pounds in fares.

Uber often described the regulated taxi industry it was trying to “break into as a cartel.”

But the company has been rocked by scandals. Uber drivers are fighting for their rights. And now a whistleblower has revealed the dark tricks Uber used to break into lucrative European markets

Mark MacGann used to be one of Uber’s top executives. He was the company’s chief lobbyist, meeting senior members of government and heads of state in over 40 countries.

“People were almost falling over themselves in order to meet with Uber and to hear what we had to offer,” MacGann told the Guardian in an exclusive interview.

It was extraordinarily easy to get access to the highest echelons of power and decision-making. It was intoxicating.Ӕ

Now he’s turned whistleblower.

Thousands of documents were leaked to the Guardian, who shared them with the INTERNATIONAL CONSORTIUM OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS (ICIJ) and media partners around the world, including the BBC.

The Uber Files are an unprecedented insight into how one of the world’s most notorious tech companies lobbied at the highest level to assist its aggressive expansion into Europe.

Uber raised billions in investment, using funds to attract drivers and passengers and challenge the rules. But Uber needed political support to disrupt the taxi industry.

The leak reveals how undeclared meetings, high-level lobbying, and backroom deals helped Uber to get leading politicians to back their radical plans. The leaked documents cover the years Uber was trying to break into Europe and they show how much Uber was prepared to spend to get close to power. In 2016, its lobbying and public relations budget was $90 million (75 million).

They also expose the shocking detail of how extensively Uber used secret technology to avoid justice and showed just how ruthless the company was prepared to be. The company’s steamroller tactics were evident in just about every European city it launched in, but nowhere more so than Paris, Amsterdam and London.

Read the rest HERE

Posted by Elvis on 07/12/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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