Uber X is Workchoices on Steroids

26 June 2015 | NSW Taxi Council

The NSW Taxi Council today expressed its disappointment at the comments made by the ALP and the Leader of the Opposition in relation to Uber and ride sharing.

Whilst the NSW Taxi Council acknowledges the need for governments to hold unlawful ride-sharing companies accountable to ensure that they comply with the necessary rules, pay their fair share of taxes and ensure that drivers and passengers are protected against rip-offs and injury, but blanket support for an under-ground black market business model is ill-conceived.

NSW ALP appears to be abandoning its core values when it comes to workers’ rights and basic entitlements.

Uber X is Workchoices on steroids.  There are no protections at all for a worker operating on the Uber X platform and summary dismissal is the norm where a driver fails to meet Uber’s exacting demands.

Uber X is on the record of opposing workers’ rights and it is very surprising that the ALP would be supporting a platform that has this approach.

In the United States, Uber X and its major competitor, Lyft, have engaged in a price cutting war, sometimes 30% on fares, and the drivers on these ridesharing platforms have had to just cop this harsh reduction in their pay.  This is the potential future of work in Australia for drivers if this unrestrained platform is given free reign.

Furthermore, the NSW Taxi Council is surprised that the Leader of the Opposition has failed to acknowledge the many thousands of hard working and law abiding mum and dad taxi owners, operators and drivers who have, in good faith, invested in the NSW Taxi Industry and whose livelihoods are at clear risk by what Uber X represents.  Furthermore, there are many self-funded retirees who, through hard work and commitment to this industry, rely on the income generated by the NSW Taxi Industry to afford a very modest retirement.

The NSW Taxi Council does not blindly oppose the so-called “shared economy” however there are some very significant issues that need to be considered. 

Hotels for example, which employ tens of thousands of workers, face significant downward pressure on revenue as a consequence of unregulated competition that does not need to meet the same regulatory requirements.  This puts future investment and jobs at risk including wait staff, cleaners, hospitality staff and other hard working Australians who are meant to be at the core of the ALP.

The NSW Taxi Council calls on the NSW ALP and Leader of the Opposition to consider these issues in much greater detail and consult more widely before it hastily throws its lot behind a platform that will remove workers’ rights and put traditional jobs at risk.