Wednesday, February 24, 2016

More on Hartmann and Uber

Following up on this post, see this Hartmann report, which includes the CA court case against Uber:

"A recent court decision could threaten the future of Uber. A judge in California has granted class action status to drivers for the ride-share service who claim that the company treats them like regular employees, without providing the corresponding benefits. And, this case could have broader implications for the so-called 'sharing economy' as a whole. As more Americans start providing services on-demand through apps and websites, labor law experts worry what it means for the future of workers' rights. Without the benefits that come along with full-time employment, including sick time and social security contributions, more workers are missing out on protections that they would receive as regular employees. The 'sharing economy' may force our nation to redefine what it means to be an employee, and find a way to protect workers who don't fall into traditional categories. We can't stop technology, or erase the need for individuals to supplement their stagnant wages, but we can make sure that workers are protected in this new age."

And here's a 2012 Hartmann article on the real sharing economy when owned by the workers, not a corporation. Therein he even mentions Union Cab. An edited excerpt:

"Corporations don't SHARE technological infrastructure like cell phone towers and underground wires - so that more and more small businesses can get in the game and give consumers more choice. They control them to maintain their own profits. The entertainment industry doesn't SHARE it's movies and music - they lock them down - and lobby for laws to throw people who call themselves 'file sharers' in prison. Sharing has no place in our economy - but as corporate capitalism continues to rot out our democracy and our middle class - it must. Luckily - the transition to a sharing economy is already underway."

"Co-ops are different than corporations - because instead of a small group of shareholders and a CEO owning the company, calling the shots, and pocketing most of the money - ALL the workers own the company - ALL the workers have a vote in how the company is run - and ALL the workers SHARE the profits the company makes. That means the wealth is shared. And people still have an incentive to work hard - because the harder everyone works - the more profits everyone makes. The only difference is we're no longer competing with each other - we're cooperating. And the Union Cab cooperative model is working. It's the largest of four cab fleets in Madison, with the most cars and best service, and an employee retention rate of 85% with most workers sticking around more than 5 years. In fact - there are 9 other co-ops just like Union Cab - all within five miles of the state capital in Madison - from bakeries to engineering companies to pharmacies. "

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