BC Green Leader accused of selling out to corporations and promoting exploitation economy over plans to legalize Uber

By Amy Chen

By pushing to legalize ride sharing in British Columbia, Green party Leader Andrew Weaver is selling out to large unethical corporations like Uber, which exploit workers by flouting industry regulations and paying drivers less than minimum wage, critics say.

“Stop calling it ‘ride-sharing’. It is not ‘sharing’,” Dave Stevenson from Richmond, BC said. “It’s being done for pay, controlled by multi-billion dollar corporations, that operate beyond the reach of Canadian lawmakers.”

“Sharing is giving my neighbor a no-cost ride to the supermarket,” Stevenson added in response to Weaver’s Rideshare Enabling Act, 2017[1]http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Rideshare-Enabling-II.pdf
. “Uber and Lyft are under-regulated taxi services.”

“And seriously, is it your position that leadership in the ‘new economy’ means pushing for more jobs without benefits, without pensions, without EI, with no minimum wage?” Stevenson asked.

“Sound more like rolling the economy, at least for workers, back in time,” Stevenson concluded.

“NOT innovative,” Sionna Breasal of Kootenay, BC said. “The West Kootenay EcoSociety has already been supporting a ride sharing website for quite some time (https://kootenay.ride-share.org).”

“This service could be offered in cities and towns, via a public website,” Breasal added. “I think this would be preferable to a system which has already shown to treat workers poorly. Better transit and better ride sharing options, not just private profit.”

“I absolutely oppose Andrew Weaver’s support of Uber,” Alexis Walters Whyte of Victoria, BC said. “Uber is NOT “ride sharing”. Uber is an exploitive company that treats drivers poorly and fails to provide any advantage over taxis except to line the pockets of its owners Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. There is nothing particularly “green” about them. They simply don’t have to comply with taxi licensing, insurance or safety standards.”

“If we wish to consider ourselves as innovators in the emerging 21st century economy we must be willing to embrace the innovation that we create,” Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Weaver stated as he introduced the legislation. “Failing to do suggests that we are not serious about taking a leadership position in the new economy.”

A study last year conducted by parliamentarians in Britain concluded that Uber treats its drivers as Victorian-style “sweated labour”, with workers taking home less than minimum wage[2]http://www.frankfield.co.uk/upload/docs/Sweated%20Labour%20-%20Uber%20and%20the%20%27gig%20economy%27.pdf

The report found that Uber working conditions met Victorian definition of sweated labour: “when earnings were barely sufficient to sustain existence, hours of labour were such as to make lives of workers periods of ceaseless toil; and conditions were injurious to the health of workers and dangerous to the public”

Workers in Toronto have filed a class action to force Uber to classify drivers as employees entitled to standard employee compensation including a minimum wage and vacation pay, instead of the corporation’s classification of workers as “independent contractors”.[3]https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/01/24/proposed-ontario-class-action-claims-uber-drivers-are-employees-not-contractors.html

[Photo Credit: Wayne S. Grazio]

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.andrewweavermla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Rideshare-Enabling-II.pdf
2. http://www.frankfield.co.uk/upload/docs/Sweated%20Labour%20-%20Uber%20and%20the%20%27gig%20economy%27.pdf
3. https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/01/24/proposed-ontario-class-action-claims-uber-drivers-are-employees-not-contractors.html

3 Responses to BC Green Leader accused of selling out to corporations and promoting exploitation economy over plans to legalize Uber

  1. Anonymous says:

    I never trusted Andrew Weaver. He’s just a sock puppet for the globalist elites.

  2. Tony B, Richmond says:

    I had such high hopes for Dr. Weaver when I voted Green. Turns out that he’s an anti-labour corporate stooge just like Christy Clark. Never again will I ever vote Green.

  3. Michael Thomas says:

    Is the alternative to be stuck with the same awful, unreliable taxi service in Vancouver? We need more taxi licenses, and more options. With reasonable regulations, ride-sharing can be a useful service and a viable employer.

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