Uber Drivers Hit A Coronavirus Speed Bump

CBx Vibe:Ride Slow” Russ

By CultureBanx Team

  • For drivers the average weekly pay has fallen by 67%
  • 22% of Uber’s drivers are African American and made around $19 per hour

The gig economy has given many workers ways to make money,  unfortunately ride sharing drivers across the board are feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. For Uber (UBER -3.63%)  the company planned to suspend accounts of drivers and delivery people affected by coronavirus, though they have offered some unknown amount of financial assistance to help them cope. With 20% of the gig economy being minorities, could they be at greater risk for a financial setback?

Why This Matters: There are thousands of full-time rideshare drivers still out on the streets trying to carve out a living, with minimal support from the platforms they serve. Approximately 22% of Uber’s drivers are African American, with the average driver making around $19 per hour. Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, told analysts the rideshare giant has $10 billion of unrestricted cash on hand. Of course this left drivers with questions, because it’s hard to understand how a company with so much liquidity couldn’t afford paid sick leave.Typically this benefit that costs employers around 2.7 cents per hour of paid work.

With 20% of the gig economy being minorities, could they be at greater risk for a financial setback?

CNBC found that some workers on ride sharing platforms like Uber don’t agree with having their account suspended. A recently published study of 871 drivers in the U.S. showed that 53% were now “very concerned” about reduced earnings as a result of the coronavirus. For drivers the average number of rides per day is down 74%, weekly pay has fallen by 67%, and hourly pay hit a sharp decline decreasing 59%, according to The Hustle. For Black Uber drivers most of them use this as the primary means of income for family stability and probably can’t afford to just stop driving.

Situational Awareness: Tension between gig economy workers and the companies they power had already been on the rise. Currently they are classified as independent contractors, many gig workers do not have access to paid sick leave, employer sponsored health insurance and other benefits. So the battle for drivers continues, either stay home and sacrifice a livelihood, or keep driving in a depressed market and risk contracting the virus.

CBx Vibe:Ride Slow” Russ

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