Uber drivers urge charity caution in upcoming Uber ‘Give Back’ campaign to avoid complicity in corporate PR white washing stunt, calls on Save the Children to clarify its position.
- UPHD call on Save the Children to review its partnership with Uber and stand in solidarity with families of Uber drivers facing poverty as a result of Uber exploitation.
- Drivers to deliver letter to Save the Children head office on Monday January 18, 1230 PM.
- UPHD ask all charities set to receive grants from Uber’s January 23 ‘Give Back’ campaign to also stand in solidarity with Uber drivers.
On January 23rd Uber is launching a ‘Give Back’ campaign to support local London charities as nominated by Uber riders. While we welcome any support Uber wants to make to local good causes we are asking charities partnering with Uber to stand in solidarity with Uber drivers denied basic worker rights. They should take the opportunity to remind Uber of its responsibility not to exploit its own workers, otherwise local charities will be participating in nothing more than a PR stunt to launder Uber’s deteriorating reputation.
It has been clearly documented that UPHD members driving for Uber are earning as little as £5.03 an hour and working as much as 90 hours a week. A number of UPHD members are currently taking action against Uber in the Employment Tribunal to secure basic work rights. This action is kindly funded by the GMB Union.
Save the Children has been an early beneficiary of Uber’s largesse through its partnership with the company in support of Syrian refugees. The charity initiated its relationship with Uber after driver concerns were placed in the public domain by the GMB union. Save the Children’s own policy on child poverty recognises that workers paid below minimum wage such as Uber drivers is a leading driver of child poverty and recommends a policy that will:
Ensure that those in work are not being paid below the poverty line, by backing the living wage and increasing the minimum wage.
James Farrar UPHD Founder said:
‘If Save the Children wants to continue to accept funds from Uber it must carry out due diligence to avoid obvious conflicts with its own charitable objectives. Uber’s business model demonstrably creates the kind of child poverty that Save the Children is seeking to eradicate. If Save the Children want to continue a commercial relationship with Uber it must speak out in solidarity with Uber drivers, otherwise it is betraying its own mission and becoming an instrument in an exercise of corporate reputation laundering. Any other charity similarly considering partnering with Uber in the current ‘Give Back’ campaign must also carry out due diligence and take the opportunity to call on Uber to respect driver’s rights as its first social responsibility priority.’
On Monday January 18 at 12:30PM a delegation of drivers will attend Save the Children offices at 1 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4AR to deliver a letter requesting Save the Children to speak out in solidarity with Uber driver’s to prevent their children sliding into poverty as a result of Uber’s business model.
Ms Tanya Steele
Save the Children
1 St John’s Lane
London EC1M 4AR
January 18 (Delivered by Hand)
Dear Ms Steele
The members of United Private Hire Drivers support your tremendous work particularly in your recent support of Syrian refugees fleeing war zones. However, your relationship with Uber gives us cause for concern in so much as its exploitative business model consigns thousands of UK families to poverty. Your own recommendation to policy makers that they should ‘ensure that those in work are not being paid below the poverty line, by backing the living wage and increasing the minimum wage’ is especially prescient for Uber drivers.
All we ask, is having benefitted from Uber’s financial support, is that you now use your influence to ask Uber to support basic worker rights for its drivers so to prevent the further slide of driver’s families into poverty and deprivation.
To accept corporate support from Uber while looking the other way on serious issues of rising child poverty levels for the families of Uber drivers would betray the principles of your own organisation and the wider ecosystem of Save the Children supporters. To use your influence now with Uber would ensure that the voice of suffering drivers is heard while possibly continuing the relationship with Uber in the spirit of positive engagement and continuous improvement on issues of corporate social responsibility.
On behalf of our membership base of Uber drivers we call on Save the Children to do the right thing.
United Private Hire Drivers
James Farrar, Founder of United Private Hire Drivers
Tel: 07530 319206. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to editors:
- United Private Hire Drivers is a trade organisation supporting the rights and welfare of UK private hire drivers. uphd.org
- Uber have announced a ‘Give Back’ campaign for January 23rd https://newsroom.uber.com/london/giveback/
- Uber and Save the Children began partnering in September 2015 in support of the Syrian refugee crisis. http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/2015-09/businesses-show-unprecedented-support-refugee-crisis
- Uber drivers including UPHD members have not been paid minimum wage and denied worker rights. http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/uber-driver-not-paid-minimum-wage
- Save the Children recommends that policy makers ‘ensure that those in work are not being paid below the poverty line, by backing the living wage and increasing the minimum wage’. http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/child-poverty/uk