Uber uses its in-app podcasts to broadcast anti-union messages to drivers


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/15/fair-and-balanced.html


A guy I know who began using Uber when it first appeared was trying to convince me to do it as well, and I looked it over and said to him “why don’t I just collect bottles and cans for the deposit?”

(Maybe not a fair comparison, but if I’m going to be self-employed or just pad my income there are better ways then Uber.)


Roger That!


I owe my soul to the company store


Not the only company ever to assertively promote anti-union messages to employees:

and Boeing’s bought and paid for political arm doing the same:

Uber is just another company in a long list of companies trying their best to keep from dealing with unions.


I dunno, if I was a highly compensated insurance professional, and my company offered a podcast, I might listen sometimes to pick up tips and ideas. But if I’m a freeter cab driver earning less than minimum, you think I’m going to spend my off hours listening to The Man? I predict a very small audience, mostly management.



Couldn’t find a worse recording?


Be better off doing home “cooking” if you know what I mean…

Didn’t even know they had a podcast and if I did, I still wouldn’t listen. Ride sharing is a side thing for me so I’m not going to give it any more time than I need to.

The thing I have always found funny about people against unions is that those same people live in a right to slave state and constantly complain about the wages and the hours and they don’t get benefits. What did you think the unions did?


I’m curious what they say that might persuade the drivers away from unionizing.

Because one involves scrounging through trash cans and other people’s garbage, and the other involves sitting in your car and driving people around. I know which one I’d rather do.

That said, I tried my hand at delivering packages for Amazon Flex, but I couldn’t sustain it. The pay wasn’t bad ($50 to $75 for a three hour block), but it wasn’t fun, and it was worse than not fun in crappy weather. (Amazon pays more to get people to work when the weather sucks.) So I gave it up once the novelty wore thin. I’m lucky enough to not have to rely on the extra money I made, but it’s a viable income stream that doesn’t require a long-term commitment.


Another day, another incremental advance pushing ridesharing apps as a concept into a worker-owned co-op.


I don’t understand Ubers ‘logic’. Uber drivers are feeling shafted, Uber is against unions so an easy way to get back at Uber is for drivers to form a union. Isn’t this a little like taking a selfie with the sign ‘roast me’ on it, when you are too sensitive to be roasted?


And let’s not forget about every single service sector training video:

“At my old job we had a union and they made us pay expensive dues. I’m so glad we don’t have that here at ShitBurger.”


Another thing to hate about Unions: Their decades-long blaring of their “Buy American!” message. It’s like their entire existence is just a front for protectionism and a noxious critique of neoliberalism and globalization. Think of where we’d be now if we had listened to that claptrap.


How much do you want to bet that, while voluntary, Uber HQ is keeping rather precise records of audience engagement?

Technically, it’d be completely trivial; definitely-not-employee is logged in to their app on a unique device, even absurdly granular records would be a minor storage challenge.

And wouldn’t having another variable for opaque calculation of who gets not-fired-because-they-aren’t-an-employee be handy?


The Industrial Workers of the World are explicitly internationalist.

It does look like the reformist unions do fit your description though.



If you’re going to look for the union label on clothing these days you may as well resign yourself to nudism. :disappointed:

ETA: Well this is a depressingly short list. But… Pendleton Mills, Ben Davis, Carhartt, Schott, Brooks Brothers, Hugo Boss. That’s not nothing. I’ve hankered after a Pendleton blanket for a long time.



I did that as a kid before I was old enough to get a job. 5 cents a can back in early 80s in NY. I knew all the places to look - but the big jackpot was always under the bleachers at the high school.