Uber CEO says the company took its drivers ‘for granted’ – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Uber CEO says the company took its drivers ‘for granted’

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said that the company has undervalued its drivers in the past.

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says that prioritizing drivers helped the company weather the pandemic.He acknowledged that drivers have been undervalued, and said that Uber needs to earn their loyalty.Uber drivers are worried about declining earnings, which led to a Valentine’s Day strike last week.

For Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, it’s pretty clear who got the ride-hailing service through the pandemic: his drivers.

Khosrowshahi, at a talk in Bengaluru, India, on Thursday, said that prioritizing drivers helped the company weather a difficult period where rides and revenue dropped precipitously.

“Before Covid, I would say, just being self critical, we took our drivers for granted, to some extent,” he said. “We were generally over-supplied, we were much more of a consumer-focused company, and the customer — the rider or eater — was always right.”

The pandemic was what forced Uber to take a hard look at the driver experience, Khosrowshahi said, with an eye toward prioritizing onboarding and other needs.

“The drivers saw us as a platform that was dependable for them, that listened to them, and was fair,” he said. “But the nature of the earner economy and flexible earnings is that you have to re-earn that loyalty, every single day.”

“Ultimately, the power of Uber is the six-and-a-half million earners who are on our platform, and the services they provide for everybody.”

It’s not the first time that Khosrowshahi has noted the virtues of his company’s drivers. Last year, he said that his experience moonlighting as an Uber driver was a wake-up call, one that pushed him to start valuing his workers behind the wheel more.

“We started celebrating employees going out there delivering, employees driving,” he said at the time. “It is a point of pride for employees now.”

But Uber drivers aren’t universally content, Khosrowshahi’s comments notwithstanding.

Many have reported increased competition and declining earnings in recent months, making it more difficult to stay on the road as a gig worker. And just last week, frustrated Uber drivers across the country went on strike during the Valentine’s Day holiday, protesting pay rates that vary wildly and which they say are unsustainable.

Some are pushing for minimum pay rates for drivers, which have already been enacted in New York City, Seattle, and California. Similar proposals are being considered in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Massachusetts.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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