Uber Whistleblower Calls Business Model 'Absolutely' Unsustainable
Uber Technologies Inc
The whistleblower behind the so-called Uber Files, Mark MacGann, said on Wednesday that while the ride-hailing company appeared to be changing its work culture, its business model was still "absolutely" unsustainable.
According to the Guardian and Le Monde publications, Uber Technologies Inc. breached the law and secretly lobbied lawmakers from 2013 to 2017 as part of an ambitious expansion into new markets.
MacGann, who oversaw Uber's government lobbying operations, identified himself as the source who leaked more than 124,000 company files.
MacGann said he decided to speak out because he thought Uber broke the law on purpose and lied to customers about how good the gig-economy model was for drivers.
Uber said in July, in response to the Guardian and Le Monde reports: "We have not and will not make excuses for past behaviour that is clearly not in line with our present values."
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's current CEO, and his executive team, according to MacGann, "have done a lot of good things, but they have so, so far to go."
When asked for comment on Wednesday, an Uber representative referred to a 2020 New York Times opinion piece in which Khosrowshahi said that "our current employment system is outdated and unfair."
Khosrowshahi previously stated that if gig workers became employees, they would lose the freedom they currently have, and rides would become more expensive. Workers desire both freedom and benefits, according to the CEO, and new legislation is needed to enable them.
"I'm proposing that gig economy companies be required to establish benefits funds which give workers cash that they can use for the benefits they want, like health insurance or paid time off," Khosrowshahi wrote in the op-ed.
"My message to Uber is: 'you've done well, (but) you can do it so much better (because) the current model is absolutely not sustainable,'" MacGann spoke at a news conference during Europe's largest tech conference, the Web Summit, in Lisbon.
According to him, Uber recently underlined that the "heart of its business model is independent contractors because everyone wants to be self-employed and have flexibility."
But the facts go against this point of view because Uber drivers in many countries are suing the company to "have a basic minimum of social security, like sick pay."
"Uber is spending tens of millions of dollars battling laws in Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world," he claimed.
Source: Gadgets Now