TENS OF THOUSANDS of drivers working for the Uber app in New York are owed money after the Californian disrupter app admitted to taking a higher level of commission than it was entitled to.
Drivers who signed up to the ride-hailing company in November 2014 were told that Uber would take between 20 and 25 per cent commission after a sales tax and a benefit fund for injured drivers had been deducted.
But, the company calculated its commission fee on the gross fare before any deductions were made, thus leading to more money for Uber and less for its drivers.
Uber’s regional general manager for America and Canada, Rachel Holt, said:
We are working hard to regain driver trust and that means being transparent, sticking to our word and making the Uber experience better from end to end.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance, said however that Uber had been wrong to take the sales tax and fee from the fare in the first place.
Mr Desai said: “Uber hasn’t just calculated its commission wrong, it has unlawfully taken the cost of sales tax and an injured surcharge right out of driver pay as opposed to charging it on top of the fare, as the law requires. This payout (roughly $900 per driver) is an attempt by Uber to pull a fast one to avoid court oversight. We’ll be back in court to win back all of the money our drivers are owed, including up to double in damages.”
A spokesman for the Independent Drivers’ Guild, an affiliate of the Machinists Union, said:
Uber’s theft of drivers’ hard-earned wages is the latest in a long history of underhand tactics. This is why we have been calling for industry-wide pay protection to stop the exploitation of New York drivers once and for all.