We will go on strike again, say Ballarat’s Uber drivers

NOT APPY: Uber drivers say they will continue their stop work action over coming weeks if the company is not willing to hear their concerns.
NOT APPY: Uber drivers say they will continue their stop work action over coming weeks if the company is not willing to hear their concerns.

Ballarat’s Uber drivers say they will continue with their stop work action until Uber pays them what they say it is contracted to do.

Drivers around Ballarat yesterday joined more than 5800 workers around Victoria, New South Wales and Brisbane in walking off the job between 6am and 10am.

Ballarat driver Matt said unless the parent company Riser Pacific was willing to talk about drivers concerns, more strikes would occur in coming weeks, most likely in peak times.

“This has come about due to the lack of consultation from Riser Pacific (Uber) to its driver partners and Uber not listening and addressing the concerns or supporting the needs of its driver partners,” Matt said.

One Ballarat driver Michael said he recently had a fare from Ballarat to Collingwood.

“About half way home I stopped for a coffee and went to check my figures and noticed that the fare that I had just completed was not there,” Michael said.

“Upon looking into my transactions I saw that the fare had gone into review, then shortly after I noticed that the fare had been cancelled and the money had been refunded back to the rider without any reasoning.

“I advised Uber that I had completed the trip and that this was fare evasion and I would be involving the police, at which time they refunded the money back to me.”

Matt said he knew of other drivers who have not been paid surges. Surges can be up to 2.1 times the usual fare and occurs when demand exceeds driver availability.

He said the main purpose of the strike was against Uber’s fixed fare policy and UberPool which he said both have been forced onto drivers without any choice.

“We’ve been forced to sign amended contracts and not given a choice whether we accept these or not. If we don’t accept, our account is immediately deactivated because you don’t accept the contract,” he said.

An Uber spokesperson said the company was continuing to work on improving the driver app in response to feedback.

“We have a range of channels for driver-partners to engage with Uber and provide feedback including regular roundtables and focus groups, partner support centres around Australia, plus phone and 24/7 in-app support,” Uber said.