Uber drivers in Australia go on 2-hour strike

Sydney : Thousands of drivers from ride-sharing company Uber went on a two-hour strike across Australia on Monday, demanding better working conditions and refusing to take bookings, the Ride Sharing Drivers United (RSDU) reported.

RSDU has urged its drivers to switch off their apps from 7.00 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. on Monday in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Efe news reported. The measure is in response to "Uber's introduction of 'upfront fares' and 'UberPool', both features designed to further shortchange and underpay drivers, eroding their already poor working conditions under a false independent contractors' pretence," said the RSDU. The organization wants drivers to be able to opt out of UberPool (multiple passenger collection service) without any penalties and those choosing to go ahead with this option be paid the equivalent of UberX base rates plus at least 20 per cent more. The group also seeks to increase UberX rates by at least 15 per cent. "With the UberPool option, drivers work harder than on a normal trip, often stopping illegally in certain places where they might be fined," said RSDU spokesperson MaxB. He said that Uber never consults its drivers and it must impose tariffs at sustainable levels, arguing that their demands do not imply an increase in prices for users but a cut in the company's commissions.