Ride-sharing apps have helped many people around the world earn extra cash on the side of their regular jobs, but one liberal U.K. politician believes that people should refrain from using the service because she doesn’t like their business model.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, who serves as the current shadow business secretary for the U.K. Labour party, recently told reporters that she avoids using the popular ride sharing service Uber because she doesn’t feel their business standards are morally acceptable.
“I don’t personally use Uber because I don’t feel that it is morally acceptable,” said Long-Bailey, in an interview with the British radio programme Today. “But that’s not to say they can’t reform their practices.”
When pressed about her specific reasoning for boycotting the ride sharing app, Long-Bailey replied,“”I don’t like the way they treat their workers,” and that she doesn’t “want to see companies model their operations on the Uber model.”
Uber has long been subject to repeated controversy in the U.K., where courts have recently ruled that Uber must pay their drivers a living guaranteed wage and pay on holidays.
Part of the genius behind Uber’s business model is that drivers are self-employed contractors and responsible for their own expenses. This enables drivers to set their own hours and puts unexpected work-related costs on the back of drivers and not the company. These qualities allow Uber to charge lower prices that one might incur if taking a taxi. Drivers are paid directly which enables them to escape fees like taxi permits in large cities.
Additionally, because drivers are self-contractors, they schedule their own hours and are not required to work certain days, eliminating the need for paid vacation time, which save the company money.
While it is unclear the exact effect that the recent court rulings in the UK will have on Uber usage in London, it remains wildly popular among millennials living in big cities who are looking to earn extra money or save money on cab fare.