What if Uber Were a Worker Co-op?

Uber built its $40 billion business around a mobile-based application that connects drivers with riders. Hailed by some for shaking up a stagnant taxi industry, others criticize the company for how it treats drivers, who pay for their own cars, gas, and maintenance. It’s also been criticized for dictating  rates and for deactivating drivers’ accounts, essentially firing them, without warning.

The ride-hailing app company may be innovative from the perspective of its customers—and its owners—but for the driver the experience is very similar to that of a traditional taxi driver, as Gebremariam can attest.

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Gebremariam isn’t just complaining about it. Instead, he and 644 other drivers are on a mission to form a new taxi company that will be both worker-owned and unionized. The new co-op, Green Taxi, will have a fleet of hybrid or high-efficiency vehicles, and will offer a ride-hailing app.

The drivers aren’t going it alone. The Communications Workers of America Local 7777 union is playing a key role in helping them break into Denver’s heavily regulated taxi industry.

Read the full article at YES! Magazine

 

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