Australian regulator will decide if Uber drivers are staff or contractors

Drivers' 'not-a-union' takes on 'not-a-taxi' company

Scandal-ridden, leaderless not-a-taxi dudebro poster-child Uber is under investigation in Australia about whether its “independent contractor” drivers are actually employees.

The investigation, by workplace regulator the Fair Work Ombudsman, was launched this week in response to a long campaign by a group of drivers calling themselves RideShare Drivers United.

The drivers, who stay anonymous for fear of reprisals from the company, have complained to the FWO about Uber's ability to cut them off at the knees if they don't earn enough stars. They are also livid with the company's repeated fare reductions for drivers and Uber seeks to stop burning through billions in VC cash.

Their argument is that, with the sole exception of the hours they choose to drive, Uber controls every aspect of their employment. Uber classifies drivers as self-employed, but that's been challenged in several countries, with cases in Switzerland, the European Union, the UK, and some American states.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the ombudsman's office will interview UberX drivers to decide “whether the engagement of Uber drivers is compliant with Commonwealth workplace laws”.

The not-a-union is asking drivers to take part in the investigation by taking part in an anonymous survey. ®

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