Perhaps we could try logic here?

But while Uber has made lots of promises, it’s hard to get around the inconvenient fact that its entire business model is fundamentally exploitative. Uber is practically synonymous with the “gig economy”, which has decimated labour laws under the guise of “flexibility’” and which is disproportionately staffed by people of colour: according to one study black workers are twice as likely to be on zero-hours contracts compared with their white peers.

Uber has also fought tooth and nail against attempts to reclassify its drivers as employees and pay them the national living wage. But even that’s not enough to make the company profitable: Uber’s long-term future rests on replacing its drivers with self-driving technology; such automation could make racial inequality even worse. So enough with the woke-washing and sanctimonious apptivism, Uber. We don’t want slogans, we want substance.

So employing lots of blacks is bad but also not employing lots of blacks through automation is bad because reasons.

But then logic and female Guardian columnist, eh?

27 thoughts on “Perhaps we could try logic here?”

  1. This is the Guardian. You will still need to employ them, even for a self-driving car. They’ll be the ones walking in front with a red flag.

    The article fails to comprehend that the Uber drivers have an opinion too, and the majority like the flexibility offered. The minority, who want to be employees, can seek employement with those firms offering it. But perhaps the Uber drivers’ opinions don’t count, what with them being POCs and all…

  2. I’m sure it would be much better to force Uber out of business and leave its drivers unemployed. At least unemployed until they go and work – under similar terms – for Kapten or Lyft or whichever local rival.

    I love Uber and its ilk and love even more the investors who subsidise my cheap and comfortable rides.

  3. such automation could make racial inequality even worse.

    Dunno, could be true? If we replace the left half of the bell curve with computers, what’s that going to do to the prospects of people who don’t have the intellectual equipment to be knowledge workers?

  4. JuliaM + 10000

    Only a matter of time before they invent George Monbibot to write tedious columns about eating dead badgers and falling afoul of pikeys

  5. I had an Uber driver who just did it to subsidise owning a 5 series BMW. He avoided the nights and just did some Saturday and Sunday morning fares.

  6. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    Ever notice that the Guardian posts a variation of this article about every two weeks or so?

    And that it’s always written by someone named something akin to Padwahmi Ramalamadingdong?

    Kind of like the recurring article by some left-handed Nigerian-Finnish lesbian decrying the lack of left-handed Nigerian-Finnish lesbian characters in British films. That are written by someone named something akin named Leontine Awabibooboo.

  7. Dennis, Offender of Krauts, Frogs and other Wogs

    Hey, I managed to be racist and homophobic in the same post. And it isn’t even 8:30 yet.

    Pretty proud of that.

  8. Lots of white people working for an employer = Boo! Racists!

    Lots of black people working for an employer = Boo! Racists!

  9. “Stopped reading as soon as she put her adjectives and nouns the wrong way around.”

    I stop reading when anyone employs the term “zero hours contracts” They don’t exist. They’re variable hours contracts. No company would go to the time trouble & expense of issuing a contract for zero hours work. And no employee would abide by the terms for zero hours pay. Zero would be the lower bound of variable. (The upper bound is infinity.) And over a very short time span. For more than that there’s no rational for it being in existence.

  10. It is a peculiar thing to behold that a company whose services or products are used and liked by so many is also so hated, whether it be Uber, Facebook or Amazon. Uber is being targeted for extinction, and those who kill it will argue that the unemployed drivers are better off unemployed than exploited. Any drivers who object are just poor fellows who don’t know their own interests and should be protected from themselves – proof that we need more government. Facebook and Amazon will be tougher to kill.

  11. “It is a peculiar thing to behold that a company whose services or products are used and liked by so many is also so hated, whether it be Uber, Facebook or Amazon. ”

    Its my theory that the Left,it having been colonised entirely by the middle classes now, hides its distaste of the working classes by attacking the businesses that they like and use, rather than the working classes themselves. It looks better to say ‘Don’t go to McDonalds, they’re exploiting the poor and killing the planet!’ than ‘Don’t go to McDonalds, the people there are appalling!’. No one ever complains about Waitrose or Sainsburys, but Tesco gets it in the neck. IMO its just thinly veiled middle class snobbery and class hatred.

  12. bloke in spain said:
    “I stop reading when anyone employs the term “zero hours contracts” … They’re variable hours contracts … Zero would be the lower bound of variable. (The upper bound is infinity.)”

    Wouldn’t the upper bound be 24 hours per day? Unless there’s some very creative timesheets.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Comrades, when the revolution comes you’ll all work for big companies with 37.5 hour weeks, paid holidays and pensions. “

    “But I don’t want to work for big companies with 37.5 hour weeks, paid holidays and pensions, I want to work when it suits me and be my own boss“

    “Comrades, when the revolution comes you’ll do as you’re fucking told”

  14. Jim. I concur, but I’ve a slight variant on your observation. In the US people have been migrating away from the blue states for decades, and the people who are moving away are often working class and often black. States such as California have lost a lot of industry that employees blue collar workers, particularly in natural resources, agriculture, and manufacturing, though so long as the fires keep burning construction workers are needed for rebuilding. Companies such as Uber and cheap restaurants help the working classes hang on a little longer and for that reason might be hated more than the old line industries that used to employ them.

  15. RichardT. There’s the old story of the lawyer who died and when interviewed by St Peter at the pearly gates told him that there was no way he could only be 82 because according to his billing records he had to be at least 250.

  16. bloke in spain,

    “I stop reading when anyone employs the term “zero hours contracts” They don’t exist. They’re variable hours contracts. No company would go to the time trouble & expense of issuing a contract for zero hours work. And no employee would abide by the terms for zero hours pay. Zero would be the lower bound of variable. (The upper bound is infinity.) And over a very short time span. For more than that there’s no rational for it being in existence.”

    Technically speaking, they are. They may not employ you at all one week. But in reality, yeah, no-one is doing zero hours. My daughter did waitressing in a chain restaurant and she generally worked certain hours. Sometimes she’d be offered more, sometimes a little less. She also has a social life, so off to a gig one day? She won’t be working. Someone else gets a double shift. And I can only speak for her, but they roughly speaking had a week’s notice of the hours. They could plan around it, refuse it, etc. Sometimes she’d get a call like someone was sick, did she want another shift.

    McDonalds make use of when certain people are available to fill shifts. Mothers don’t mind doing weekday lunchtimes. Kids are in school, off to McDs and back home to meet them. They don’t want to do school holidays, but that’s fine because students are off and happy to do the work then.

  17. ‘When the diversity take over they will reintroduce slavery, problem solved.’

    My problem of course is that they intend me to be one of the slaves.

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