The Uber Files: the drivers (part 3) – podcast | New

For Abdurzak Hadi, Uber’s launch in London in 2014 was a time of excitement. The US startup has talked about empowering drivers to work the hours they choose and earn big bucks doing it. Hadi quit his job as a clerk at a minicab company and embarked on a new life in the gig economy.

It quickly turned sour. Uber slashed prices, and as hundreds of new drivers entered the market, wait times for rides got longer and longer. Then Uber increased the commission charged to drivers from 20% to 25%. Today, Hadi tells Michael Safi, he estimates that it takes him 14 hours to do what he did in just five hours at first.

In the third and final part of this week’s series of episodes on the Uber files, we look at how the rise of the American company has led to ongoing battles over workers’ rights. In London, Hadi was among the pilots who fought back, with some success.

Uber argues that its drivers are earning more than ever and that the combination of higher incomes, new protections such as paid leave and union recognition in the UK has led to more than 10,000 new drivers to join the company in recent months.

Composition: Guardian Design/Kevin Jones

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