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Uber starts listing other jobs for its drivers

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Via Financial Times

Uber has starting listing regular job openings at other companies in its app, including at 7-Eleven, Amazon and McDonald’s, as it tries to help drivers who have suffered a sharp drop in demand. 

The company also said its more than 240,000 drivers who hold a commercial license would be paired with logistics companies, such as those who offer long-haul freight, for other employment opportunities.

The move is in line with Uber’s long-term strategy of becoming a wholesaler of temporary workers to multiple industries beyond transport and delivery. In 2019, it launched Uber Works, a short-term staffing service, in Chicago, Dallas and Miami. 

From Monday, US-based users of the Uber Driver app will see a new Work Hub section listing other ways of making money.

The hub will include information on the existing Uber Works programme, but it will also include external job openings from around 15 companies that are hiring nationally and at volume.

These include Amazon, Domino’s Pizza, Walgreens and PepsiCo. The hirings will be made directly by the companies, with no commission or arrangement regarding pay with Uber, a spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Work Hub will “soon” launch in other markets. In the mean time, the company has emailed drivers in the UK suggesting they look into job opportunities at the delivery service Ocado.

“They’re doing essential work to keep our communities moving as we fight this virus, but with fewer trips happening they need more ways to earn,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, in a statement. “With the Work Hub, we hope drivers can find more work opportunities, whether that’s with another of Uber’s businesses, or at another company.”

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Uber and other gig economy companies are still fighting court battles against giving drivers more employment rights. Many of the jobs that will be listed on the Work Hub offer benefits such as sick leave and paid holiday — which Uber has insisted its drivers, on the whole, do not want if it means losing flexibility over when to drive.

“I’m glad to see that Uber drivers will be getting connected to other work opportunities but that does not relieve Uber from complying with the law and providing the workplace protections it should be providing,” said Shannon Liss-Riordan, an employment lawyer who represents workers in the gig economy. 

Uber recently successfully lobbied for rideshare drivers to be among those to benefit from the $2tn US stimulus plan, though a note from the company said it was still “gathering information” on how to get drivers through the claims process.

In addition, the company has offered those diagnosed with Covid-19, or affected by government-imposed quarantines, two weeks pay based on prior driving activity — though drivers have reported issues accessing the money.

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