Uber Drivers Will Now Cook Your Food, Clean Your Clothes: Uber’s Gig Economy Expanding To Global Labour Market?
Uber hasn’t been marking quite an upward shift in its performance since past two years and has been registering heavy losses.
As 2019 comes to a close, Uber is set to be one of the worst-performing stock debuts of the year. It’s down more than 30% since the initial public offering in May, burdened by concerns about losses and the long-term viability of the business.
However, amidst all this, the company’s CEO has pledged that they will turn an adjusted profit by the end of 2021. As a step towards this, Uber is on its pursuit of applying its gig economy model to all kinds of work. Let’s learn more on this.
Uber’s ‘Uber Works’ to Hit Miami
Governments everywhere are pressurizing Uber to give employment benefits to its army of gig drivers. Uber however, has something else planned. It is applying its gig economy model to all kinds of work.
Something, which shall break the stereotype of Uber sticking solely to transportation biz. Dara Khosrowshahi, the company’s CEO justifies this by taking the example of Amazon.com Inc., which started by selling books and now sells practically everything. He had pitched Wall Street on doing something similar for transportation.
Almost recently, Uber planned to announce an expansion of a temporary staffing service it has been testing in Chicago. It calls this program ‘Uber Works’, which connects workers with businesses offering short-term jobs in hospitality, events, light industrial and other sectors. Miami will become the second city where Uber Works is available, with more planned for next year.
More on ‘Uber Works’
Amidst a lot of problems revolving around Uber, the company decided to carry its Uber Works program soon to Miami. This program has been mainly focused on workers at traditional staffing agencies but it plans to start recruiting from its massive pool of drivers in the coming months.
This would enable anyone in those cities to sign up for an array of gigs that don’t require a car and driver’s license, potentially unlocking an even bigger labor market.
With Uber Works, the company believes it can rake in more revenue and eventually profit, by re-purposing the technologies, along with the people who use its ride-hailing business for other jobs. This also will bolster Uber’s case that it’s a tech platform, rather than a car-booking service.
This year, Uber made the app available throughout Chicago. It started by working with restaurants as well as customers of Uber’s trucking business. On top of the kitchen work, Uber added short-term warehouse and industrial jobs.
Uber acts as a buffer between businesses looking to schedule shifts and staffing agencies that employ the workers, provides benefits and handles payroll.
The move to Miami is timed to the city’s busy winter season, made even more frenzied with the Super Bowl taking place there in February. Uber recently started testing the service in Miami ahead of the wider roll-out.
Uber’s New Set of Safety Rules
Uber’s this bet comes at a crucial time in its progress. Just last month, regulators in London revoked Uber’s license to operate there, citing safety concerns.
As a response to this, Uber published a first-of-its-kind safety report detailing more than 3,000 allegations of sexual assault filed with the company last year, raising further concerns about the dangers of the platform.
Next month onwards, it has designed a law to reclassify gig economy workers as employees goes into effect in Uber’s home state of California.
Uber Works is an opportunity for Khosrowshahi to demonstrate his version of responsible growth. Temporary staffing is a natural extension of Uber’s technology but the company must show it can be done profitably and without putting the safety of workers or customers at risk.