October 14, 2018
I work as an independent contractor using the same platform - facilitated by the same Uber Driver app - as Uber drivers, but I deliver meals from restaurants. I'm an UberEats delivery guy.
One of the most wonderful things for contractors about the Uber platform is the ease with which the great majority of those willing work hard are indeed permitted to work. While there is of course a criminal background check, it has become public that Uber's prior CEO endeavored to limit such checks within the parameters set out by customer and 3rd party safety and Uber's legal obligations. But generally, if one wants to work on the Uber platform, one can.
This ease of contractor onboarding to the Uber platform benefits a great many people who previously could not enjoy both the pride of consistently working for a living and the financial benefits of doing so. However, while Uber has facilitated many people's entry into the workforce, increased competition among drivers and delivery guys - plus Uber's reduction of rates to better compete with Lyft other ride-share firms - can make for contractors a dodgy financial life.
This uneven financial life for Uber contractors is being addressed in the private sector by a number of measures, including Uber's Instant Pay benefit plus a number of third-party firms which will soon offer "evening" loan services which will supplement an Uber contractors' income during a bad week, based upon contractors' average income over a longer period. A measure permitting Uber contractors to own stock in the firm would be another measure which would allow a large group of people on the lower economic rung of society to make significant strides toward the greater wealth and financial security enjoyed by the middle class.
It's said that "the greatest social program is a job." But a job or contractor position with stock benefits would help hundreds of thousands of people to do more than just tread water financially. We may be able to achieve some measure of security.