Uber is using biased surveys that are carefully worded to produce responses that can benefit Uber rather than its drivers, the Guardian reports.
Uber sent out the surveys after a landmark ruling handed down by the UK’s Supreme Court which determined app drivers are entitled to workers’ rights. The survey questions present if-this-then-that choices that don’t account for rights workers can now demand. Uber is basically playing fast and loose with language to try record its drivers as rebuking their own rights.
The company is presenting a false choice between flexibility and fair compensation, as The Guardian elaborates with the help of driver advocates in the following:
Nigel Mackay, a partner at law firm Leigh Day, is representing more than 1,000 drivers seeking compensation for missed holiday pay in the wake of the supreme court ruling.
He said that the question on flexibility was presented “as there being a binary choice between flexibility or benefits (again, without even mentioning some of the most important benefits), whereas in reality it is not a choice between the two. They could maintain flexibility for drivers and provide the benefits.”
It’s kind of like If I was set against worker benefits and went around trying to record the responses I wanted by wording my questions like this:
- Do you want more freedom and flexibility?
- Do you hate freedom and flexibility so much that you will kowtow to workers unions that promise benefits at the hidden expense of individual autonomy?
OK, fine. That is a little overwrought but if Uber wants to make its case by using loaded language then I can do it, too. Also, the most troubling part of this is that even if the surveys don’t get Uber what it wants in the short term, it could be playing the long con here.
Mackay shared the following, too, in the The Guardian’s report:
It seems that this is so that, down the line, they can say that drivers are not interested in holiday pay or the minimum wage because they carried out research and the most popular benefits were other things
Mackay claims that Uber could use the surveys to later say that drivers weren’t really interested in their workers’ rights and it that it has the data to prove it.