If you have even a rudimentary grasp of Uber’s history, you probably know the ride-hailing service as a start-up with a history of rebuffing regulations as much as it possibly can. This is literally an ideal of its CEO, Travis Kalanick, who once quipped “When the people with the red tape come, it becomes a negotiation.” So… I’m wondering who wrote its Policy Vision For Slovakia, a document that apparently circulated around the European country’s parliament in 2015.
The section of the document posted last night on Twitter by Six Silberman—whose bio says he’s a labor unionist with Germany’s largest union IG Metall— is amazing (emphasis mine):
We are incredibly proud that we have very high support from all of our partner drivers, especially from our pat-time partners, who see Uber as a life changing opportunity to support their families. Thus, although Uber is often accused of being a linchpin of predatory capitalism destroying job security and reducing welfare, Uber is in reality a socialist project of sharing aimed at providing ordinary people with more economic opportunities and improving their lives.
After catching Silberman’s post, I asked Uber’s media relations line if the document’s indeed legit, but I haven’t heard back yet. In response to New Yorker writer Adrian Chen, Silberman said he has the full document and it was “circulated to members of the Slovakian parliament in 2015.”
Uber fled Austin, Texas, over background checks for drivers, flouted a California law for testing self-driving cars on the road, and it’s threatening to leave Seattle if a law to allow drivers in the city to unionize is upheld. Its business model inherently requires drivers not to be considered employees, according to Uber. So… yeah, this Actually, We’re A Socialist Program scheme by Uber is some righteous shit.
Kalanick’s known as a CEO with an “iron grip” on Uber, reportedly even getting into small matters like the phrasing of press statements at times. So I wonder if this ever made its way up the totem pole to his office.