Ride-sharing app, Uber has be criticised for 'ripping off' drivers and passengers.
Ride-sharing app, Uber has be criticised for 'ripping off' drivers and passengers. RITCHIE B. TONGO

Union slams ride-sharing as 'rip off'

RIDE-sharing service, Uber has been criticised for 'ripping off' drivers and passengers by the Transport Workers Union, who amplified calls to the State Government for increased transparency around the service's operations.

The union said the government needs to better protect passengers and drivers from the arbitrary rate increases and wage reductions implemented by ride-sharing platforms such as Uber.

Union national secretary, Tony Sheldon commended the Victorian Government's move yesterday to protect passengers against rate increases associated with Uber's price-surging model.

But Mr Sheldon said the union also wanted more protections for drivers, who he said "suffer when Uber cuts rates, leaving them earning less or increases rates, threatening their livelihoods by turning customers off.”

"We cannot stand by while a system which is gaining a foothold in our transport network can increase rates or reduce them at random,” he said.

"At the moment this is happening at the whim of tech giants which are wielding their power in an entirely opaque way. Governments need to protect drivers and passengers from being ripped off.”

The union has also criticised Uber's new system being trialled for "route-pricing” based on what Uber estimates passengers are willing to pay, is also being criticised. 

The backlash comes as Uber drivers around Byron Bay gear up to transport potentially thousands of party-goers during the upcoming Splendour in the Grass festival.


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