Uber has allocated $ 250 million to persuade US drivers to return to work for them. The ride service lost a large part of its customers and drivers during the pandemic.
With more people vaccinated in the United States, demand for Uber’s services is also picking up. However, the ride platform struggles with a significant shortage of drivers, causing waiting times for customers to increase significantly. During the pandemic, many Uber drivers looked for different jobs, as there was little demand for rides due to the various lockdowns.
Uber now wants to lure those drivers back with bonuses, at least in the United States. The company has announced that it will invest $ 250 million in a stimulus package. That extra money should attract old and new drivers to the platform and encourage them to accept more trips.
This means that drivers will earn more in the coming period than they did before the pandemic. That should also address waiting times. In recent weeks, customers have sometimes had to wait hours for someone to pick them up. Last week, Uber also announced that it wanted to hide customers’ intended destinations from drivers until they accepted a ride to take less lucrative rides.
Uber is involved in various cases worldwide regarding the status of its drivers. While they are seen as workers in some European countries, in many states of the US, they are referred to by law as self-employed and, for example, do not receive holidays or sick leave. These bonuses, therefore, seem primarily a quick way of making work attractive for Uber, without structural changes to working conditions.