"I am an Uber employee and I support the drivers’ strikes."

Oh, man, you even read like a Nigerian prince! Or an Amway representative.

Sorry, you just don’t read like an actual driver, more like some paid shill.

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No, not at all. Others can do whatever they want, like leave and go do something else. It’s a free country.

And neither should Uber, or a million other drivers who prefer to work on its current platform as independent contractors, have to adapt to the preferred working patterns of a few thousand protesters. Uber should be allowed as a business to operate under the business model it has chosen, and those who want to work with Uber under that model should not have that option taken from them by a bunch of fine, upstanding proletariat who want to have their cake and eat it, too.

You can either have the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed, or the security and stability of being employed by a larger entity. Take your pick. But no one owes you the right to both, and no one should be forced to act against their best interests to accomodate yours, because at the end of the day, yours are no more noble than theirs are. We all want whatever we can get.

We should all have the right to free association, and constitutionally, we do. No one, though, including anyone calling themselves “workers,” should have the right to mandate the terms by which other parties must associate with them.

But by participating in and advocating for an exploitative system, that’s what you’re doing. Your actions in this world have consequences for others - we are not individualized so much that we can do whatever we want in the world and NOT impact those around us. So, YOU are the one who is forcing others into insecure labor by ignoring the reality that many people who work for uber who don’t agree with you. If YOU want to continue that relationship with Uber, that’s YOUR choice, but you are here arguing that it should not change or that everyone else should just take the same deal, no matter what their actual circumstances are because “choices”. Rather than there should be choices in how people’s relationship to uber should work. You’re saying that the status quo is fine and should be the only choice, rather than understanding that your circumstances might be very different than other peoples.

I can. There is plenty of exploitation this modern work environment, across the board. In all fields. Lower wage, “independent” contracting is becoming the norm in a surprisingly large number of fields… There is giving people weekly shifts that are just under the limit for full time, in order to deny them benefits which they need. There are millions of undocumented workers who are incredibly vulnerable to all kinds of abuse, from withholding pay to sexual assault and physical abuse. Or contract workers who have to keep working faster for Amazon, so they wear diapers on the line. To working class retirees who move around the country following work. Or the millions of people who can’t retire because they had shitty 401ks that were constantly being hit with a tanking market. Don’t get me started on the adjunct problem in academia, people who have advanced degrees in their fields and end up working in insecure jobs at 3 or 4 college campuses (again, often with no benefits) and STILL can’t make ends meet.

This shift to the gig economy has had disastrous consequences for millions of Americans who are about a paycheck away from homelessness. They have no security, often not through choices of their own, but because their communities have been gutted via the runaway factory syndrome, and the only jobs left are Wal Mart, McDonalds, or gig economy jobs - none of which you can support a family on and STILL do the necessary work of raising a family.

When we talk about FULL employment in our economy, we constantly gloss over the nature of the work that people do.

This is patently untrue. A tiny percentage of private workers are unionized, in all fields. The largest unionized sector is the public sector, by huge margins. The Teamsters, for example ONLY represent something like 75,000 people in freight. Labor board’s numbers for unionization in the US:

Even if truck drivers are more unionized, that is still a tiny fraction of drivers who are unionized.

Not all of them have the same choices. YOU may have choices, but plenty of others have a choice between a low paying job in the service sector or something like uber, and they make the choice for uber, because it’s more flexible… or they do both. We should work to ensure that the workers with the least options have security and access to a living wage. If uber can’t pay drivers a living wage and offer them benefits, then they should not be in business. If uber couldn’t pay their programmers or couldn’t pay their rent for their offices, or couldn’t afford computers for their office workers, or for whatever else they need to do business, we’d rightly call that a FAILED business. Labor, like every other aspect of a business has a cost, and given that we’re talking about human beings, with real needs, why should that aspect of a business be constantly cut over others? Maybe the CEO can take a fucking pay cut instead of the people who make the business profitable - the people who do the actual labor.

kate-middleton-eye-roll

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A word of advice:

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I’m reminded of the “there’s always a bigger fish” Post on Boingboing. I have a sense that’s where this is going for this guy.

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From the Community Guidelines:

Be cool. Don’t post or encourage insulting, bullying, victim-blaming, racist, sexist, violent, or homophobic remarks.

Stunt accounts and throwaways may live, but sock puppets, astroturfers and spammers will die.

Assume good faith and like the good. However, flag the bad, and avoid contentless comments.

Enforcement may be lax or draconian as befits the whims of the Entity. The rude will be eaten first.

New members who are curious about the use of memes as a response to comments might appreciate the discussion at (slurping loudly), where attitudes toward using gifs are talked about.

[Oops, that should have been a general reply, not specifically to @Melz2.]

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Speechless

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What you’re doing is proselytizing and being needlessly disrespectful to the entire community in general, (not to mention engaging in feckless hyperbole; initially there were only 8 replies to your first comment, not “15.”)

You posted your opinion, and it was met with understandable skepticism; that’s life, it’s nothing personal.

No one is required to agree with your position, or to take what you claim at face value.

Again, if you plan on sticking around, you might want look into an attitude adjustment, rather than just doubling down on the ill-advised behavior that is causing your comments to get modded in the first place.

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queen-elizabeth-this

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I was not being hyperbolic. I just guessed, and I was wrong. Nothing about that invalidates my point, though. Everything else I said to you was accurate.

I’m not demanding anyone agree with me. I don’t why you think otherwise.

I’m not proselytizing. I couldn’t care less who does ridesharing and who doesn’t. I’m just sharing my experience and the perspective that it has given me, just like everybody else here. I didn’t use any expletives, or address or refer to anyone insultingly in this thread on my first post.

After the responses, though, where I was not so much rebutted in point as assassinated in character, I loosened up a bit because that seemed like business as usual around here. You didn’t do much to dissuade me from that conclusion.

Before you decide to act as anyone’s moral arbiter around here, maybe you should practice more what you preach.

Meanwhile, I’ll be a little more careful with my numbers.

Good on you, for admitting that particular mistake.

Yes… your complete lack of investment in this subject is quite obvious, just from the sheer volume of comments you’ve made, all here in this one topic. Almost as if you have only one single-minded purpose in having joined this site.

No one cast any aspersions upon your character; as no one here knows anything about you personally.

Many people expressed their doubt as to your claims, as this is the internet. That you seem to have taken the understandable skepticism so personally speaks volumes.

I’m not ‘acting as’ anything but a member in good standing, who’s personally invested in this community.

If that bothers you, that’s just too bad.

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…or take seriously yet another Libertarian wannabe tycoon who, by the evidence of his comments*, seems to understand nothing about business, finance or economics.

More than that, it’s been met directly and indirectly with facts and experience from academics and people who’ve actually started and run companies (instead of pretending to do so as they sit behind the wheel waiting for the next ride notification from Uber).

[ETA: this is key]

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Telling someone “you don’t know what you’re talking about” (1) assumes bad faith and (2) is an insult. Both are against the Guidelines. You drew fire for that. It was harsh, yes, but it has nothing to do with being a “moral arbiter.” And, spoiler: the earlier post I accidentally replied to Melz with was written for you. She and I basically said the same thing to you; mine was merely more polite.

I sincerely recommend reading the Guidelines. They’re good at explaining what is and isn’t acceptable here. You’ll find that both the moderators and the community at large are very invested in making sure they are followed.

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I am a difficult person and proud of it. I choose a different way.




But free association is a joke when there is coercion stopping it. Most people do their jobs for their boss (Yes, you have a boss at Uber and Lyft) for far less money than what they make for their companies or become homeless and starve.

Yes, that is exactly the reason why the miner’s strike in 1980s England lasted for a year or the Liverpool dockers strike lasted three years in the 1990s. They didn’t need to starve or sit in the cold during winter, they could have just spent some of their millions of pounds that they had for protesting.

It’s somewhere around here.

Hang on, I’ll just look down the back of their sofa.

Sorry, I still can’t find that money. Maybe it’s kept in some secret offshore bank account.

Anyway, there was no reason for them to burn their furniture to keep warm when they could have got some money from their offshore accounts, that I have no evidence of ever existing, to pay their bills.

/s, if anyone needs it.

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That would have been fine, but you also threw in that you felt that others experiences were not correct, because of what yours was, that you felt they were “ruining” it for you by striking for better working conditions, and to top that off, you said “we” and “us” in one of your first comments, while insinuating that labor organizing is some sort of outside, unamerican agitation, when it’s as American as apple pie and only sometimes intersections with radical political movements (historically and today).

The problem wasn’t your view that you like the relationship you have with uber and find it advantageous. As you note, that is your experience, and no one is out to invalidate it. I’m sure there are others who agree with you. But you are assuming that YOUR experiences are the only ones that are correct, because it’s worked out for you. People don’t strike because they have radical politics in the US (as a general rule), they often strike because of the material conditions of life they find themselves in ends up demanding it.

Even your original response to me specifically undermined your claim that you’re only speaking for yourself by complaining about how this strike might impact YOU. You clearly feel like there should be no choices for uber drivers within that company itself, that because this works for YOU, it must be right for everyone. Well, clearly, it’s NOT because people are on strike over it!

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As clearly exemplified by that last line of the very first comment that you just quoted:

Up until that exact point, it was all “I” and “me” throughout the whole rant, and then in closing, the phrasing suddenly shifted to the all-inclusive “we.”

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odo-precisely

If it had been a comment about how they personally had enjoyed their experience working for Uber just as it was, and left it at that, that would have been one thing, but the insistence that their experience was the right one, and no one else’s mattered, while proclaiming to speak for others, well… what can I say, of course that’s going to get push back.

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… and using that as a (very shaky) jumping-off point for justifying an ideology regularly mocked, deplored and debunked on this site. Not a good start to one’s commenting career here.

If driving for Uber works for an individual, bully for him. That doesn’t make the company as a whole any less crappy, and it doesn’t make the demands of the striking drivers any less valid.

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What career, though?

As I’ve pointed out, that person in question hasn’t bothered to comment on any other topics except for this one; which only adds to the appearance of being a one-dimensional corporate shill.

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In this case, a very short one, I’d imagine.

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