Uber Eats delivery drivers, who use scooters and vehicles for deliveries, have requested customers to join the protest by boycotting the Uber Eats mobile app today.
The threat to shut down all Uber Eats courier services on 22 January comes after the Uber-owned food delivery and freight service in December introduced discounted rates for customers. The new promotion, according to the drivers, resulted in them taking home significantly reduced earnings – up to 30% less than what they were earning prior to the introduction of the promotion.
Last year, the food delivery service partnered with several local retailers to offer delivery services of products to customers during the nation-wide lockdown. The Uber Eats food delivery and freight services drivers are currently being paid R10 per delivery, plus R4 per 1.6km. They are demanding R20 for the first 2km, plus R6 after that.
In a written memorandum sent to Uber, the drivers say in addition to the low wages, they are unhappy about a number of other issues, including the constant influx of new delivery drivers, the blocking of drivers for no reason, and slow in-app support during deliveries. They also want Uber to stop flagging accounts when correct cancellation procedures have been followed.
Duane Bernard from the Uber Driver Partners Association said:
“We sent them our grievances and they did call for an immediate meeting with drivers in Gauteng, which lasted two weeks and they said they were going to work on the concerns in the next couple of weeks. That was about three weeks ago.”
Bernard said they have a list of concerns, adding that over the past few years Uber had dropped the driver-partners rates to almost half that what it used to be.
“The fact that they are using labour brokers to hire drivers and the drivers need to pay these labour brokers a fee.
They’ve closed down their Uber Eats offices, so you don’t deal with anyone here, you deal with them via email or the driver’s app.”