Uber Seeks Staff Support for Proposal on Drivers as Contractors

Uber app

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. outlined ways staff can support a state measure that would designate drivers as contractors rather than full-time employees, seeking additional backing for a controversial initiative that labor unions and at least one in-house engineer have publicly opposed.

In a companywide email Friday obtained by Bloomberg, Uber’s head of global public policy Justin Kintz said data “show a tight race” to pass California’s Proposition 22, a measure written and funded by Uber, Lyft Inc. and other gig companies that would replace an earlier law designed to treat drivers as employees. Kintz’s email, which includes links to talking points from the Yes on 22 campaign, also suggests ways employees can get involved, including joining a texting bank, and links to a sample email staffers can send to family and friends. Uber will have a special Town Hall-type meeting Oct.

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What is proposition 22? The ballot measure that could determine the future of Uber and Lyft in California

The ballot measure, known as Proposition 22, would establish drivers as an independent class of workers with access to limited job benefits, along with wage and worker protections they’ve so far lacked under the gig economy model. Labor groups and many of driver advocates say the companies’ efforts, however, do not go far enough to protect workers and are merely an attempt, cloaked in friendly marketing materials, to quash a new law that would guarantee drivers access to the minimum wage, employer-provided health care and bargaining rights.

Drawing on a more than $186 million campaign war chest that Uber, Lyft, food delivery app DoorDash and other tech companies have raised, they are seeking to convince California voters that the ballot initiative reflects the will of drivers. They’ve cited limited survey data saying the vast majority of drivers want to remain contractors.

But critics see the measure as a last-ditch effort

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Uber engineer speaks out against company’s $186M campaign, says it’ll hurt drivers

As Uber has poured tens of millions of dollars into a California ballot measure to avoid classifying its drivers as employees, one engineer from inside the ride-hailing company spoke out against this campaign on Tuesday. In an op-ed published by TechCrunch, Kurt Nelson said Uber doesn’t have drivers’ interests in mind.

“Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick,” Nelson wrote. “But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor.”


Nelson is one of only a handful of gig economy company employees to speak out against Proposition 22. It’s been historically rare to see tech workers criticize their employers’ positions. But that’s starting to change. Google employees organized walk-outs in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations

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Ride-hailing app Ola banned in London over safety concerns, shortly after Uber wins reprieve

  • Indian ride-hailing app Ola has been banned by London’s transport regulator over public safety concerns.
  • Transport for London (TfL) refused to grant Ola a new operator’s license after concluding it is not “fit and proper” to hold one.
  • The decision comes a week after Uber won a court battle that allows it to keep operating in London. 



a hand holding a cellphone: The Ola app displayed on a smartphone.


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The Ola app displayed on a smartphone.

LONDON — Ola, a ride-hailing app that competes with Uber, has been banned by London’s transport regulator over public safety concerns.

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The Indian company, which is backed by Japanese tech giant SoftBank, launched its app in London in February. However, Transport for London (TfL) said Sunday that it has refused to grant Ola a new operator’s license after concluding it is not “fit and proper” to hold one.

The decision comes a week after Uber won a court battle that

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Controversial former Uber exec Emil Michael has registered plans for a $250 million SPAC

SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, are all the rage right now, and people are emerging from all corners to raise them.

Among the latest entrants — and someone who might be of interest to Silicon Valley watchers — is Emil Michael, a former Uber executive and top lieutenant to former CEO Travis Kalanick. Earlier today, Micheal registered plans with the SEC to raise $250 million in an IPO for a blank-check company that will broadly acquire a company in the tech sector.

IPO Edge had reported earlier today that the SPAC might be in the works.

The filing lists as special advisors Alphabet’s former executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and Betsy Atkins, a founder of Ascend Communications and investor who has served on so many boards that last year she wrote a book about it. Indeed, among her other roles currently, she’s on the boards of Volvo, Wynn Resorts, and

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Uber Freight raises $500 million from Greenbriar Equity

  • Uber has announced it has sold a $500 million stake in its Uber Freight logistics business to New York-based private equity firm Greenbriar Equity Group.
  • Uber will retain majority ownership of Uber Freight.
  • The investment values the logistics arm of the company at $3.3 billion on a post-money basis.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

(Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc said on Friday New York-based private equity firm Greenbriar Equity Group would invest $500 million in its logistics arm, Uber Freight, valuing the unit at $3.3 billion on a post-money basis.

The ride-hailing firm said it would maintain majority ownership of Uber Freight, and use the funds to scale its logistics platform and increase product innovation.

Unlike Uber’s ride-hailing app or its food-delivery service, Uber Freight operates as a middle man in the fragmented long-haul trucking business, connecting truckers with shippers.

Michael Weiss and Jill Raker, managing partners of

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Convoy rival Uber Freight raises $500M, valuing trucking logistics business at $3.3B

(Uber Freight Photo)

Uber Freight, the trucking logistics arm of Uber, today announced a $500 million investment led by Greenbriar that values the unit at $3.3 billion.

Uber Freight helps match carriers with shipper’s loads, using technology to expedite and automate a traditionally manual process that involves email and phone calls. Since launching in 2017, it has nearly 65,000 carriers in its network and works with shippers including AB Inbev, Nestle, LG, Niagara Bottling, Heineken, Land O’Lakes, and more.

Convoy hires former Expedia CEO as president and COO as digital freight startup tops 1k employees

“Uber Freight has created an innovative and effective approach to logistics technology that we believe is highly scalable in the coming years,” Michael Weiss, managing partner of Greenbriar, said in a statement. “In particular, we believe that carriers and shippers will be increasingly attracted to the convenience and simplicity that Uber Freight offers in a

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Uber Sells Stake in Freight Unit to Private Investors

Uber Technologies Inc.

is selling a stake in its Uber Freight truck brokerage arm for $500 million to investors in a funding round led by Greenbriar Equity Group LP, pumping fresh cash into a business that has been growing rapidly while also losing money at a fast clip.

The planned investment comes as the coronavirus pandemic has hammered Uber’s core ride-hailing business, prompting the company to slash jobs and re-evaluate cash-burning businesses such as Freight, which accounts for a small portion of Uber’s overall revenue.

The new investors are coming in through what Uber Freight says is a Series A preferred stock financing. The investment values the business at $3.3 billion after the funding round.

Two managing partners at Greenbriar, a Rye, N.Y.-based midmarket private-equity firm focused on logistics and transportation, will join Uber Freight’s board of directors as part of the deal, which Uber said was expected to close

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Uber, Lyft look to kill California law on app-based drivers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Californians are being asked to decide if Uber, Lyft and other app-based drivers should remain independent contractors or be eligible for the benefits that come with being company employees.

The battle between the powerhouses of the so-called gig economy and labor unions including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters could become the most expensive ballot measure in state history. Voters are weighing whether to create an exemption to a new state law aimed at providing wage and benefit protections to drivers.

Uber and Lyft have fought a losing battle in the Legislature and courts. So now — with help from app-based food delivery companies DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart — they are spending more than $180 million to take their fight directly to voters in the Nov. 3 election.

Early voting in California starts Monday. Uber and Lyft, both headquartered in San Francisco, have said they may leave

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Seattle approves minimum pay rate for Uber and Lyft drivers

(Reuters) – The Seattle City Council passed a minimum pay standard for drivers for companies like Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N and Lyft Inc LYFT.O on Tuesday.

Under the ordinance, effective January, the drivers will now earn at least $16.39 per hour – the minimum wage in Seattle for companies with more than 500 employees.

Seattle’s law, modeled after a similar regulation in New York City, aims to reduce the amount of time drivers spend “cruising” without a passenger by paying drivers more during those times.

City officials argue this should prevent Uber and Lyft from oversaturating the market at drivers’ expense, but the companies say it would effectively force them to block some drivers access to the app. Both Uber and Lyft have locked out drivers in response to the NYC law.

“The City’s plan is deeply flawed and will actually destroy jobs for thousands of people — as many

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