Uber customers are being urged to “boycott” the company as some drivers across Manchester prepare to strike on Friday.
After a new ‘smart pricing’ system appears to have sparked anger among some drivers who use the ride-sharing platform, as it reportedly resulted in them being given less of the fare, and ultimately less earnings overall, a number of Uber drivers across the region have been speaking out about their intentions to strike this Friday.
The majority of the drivers taking part in the strikes, on what is always known to be one of the busiest days of festive period, are said to be part of the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU).
On top of changes to the pricing system, union bosses said drivers were only paid when they were transporting passengers, and not during time when they were waiting for the passengers – which they claimed leaves drivers “short-changed for about 40% of their true working time”.
Because of this, the ADCU is calling on Uber customers in Manchester and beyond to “boycott” the service to support striking drivers amid the rising cost of living crisis.
Yaseen Aslam – President of the ADCU – said: “With the current crisis including cost of living, fuel hike, and at a time when traditionally it should be a busy month for our members, it is disappointing that drivers have no choice but to do strike in order to make their voices heard.
“We request the public to stand with us in solidarity and not break our digital picket line by using Uber during the strike hours in areas where our members are striking.”
Safwan Chanchwelia is one Uber driver in Manchester who has told The Manc he will be striking.
“I will be participating in the strikes – I won’t be logging on and I hope all drivers do the same, as we need to keep the unity to protect ourselves,” Mr Chanchwelia explained.
“Many of us [drivers], including myself, will be joining the region wide-strike at a time when we also have national strikes involving other public and service sector unions, and it’s due to the low wages and high commission rates charged by Uber. This is further exacerbated by the cost of living crisis, high fuel prices, and increase in interest rates, which is placing additional strain on drivers take-home pay.
“Whilst many drivers consider their positive contribution to Ubers success in the taxi/private hire industry within UK, drivers now feel exploited with high commission rates being charged resulting in low wages due to their market dominance.
“These conditions aren’t fair.
“We are doing a job here, and we’re not being paid enough, so I hope Uber as a company recognises that we deserve to be paid a fair price for all our trips.”
It comes after a new ‘smart pricing’ system appears to have sparked anger among some drivers / Credit: Uber UK
In response to the drivers’ intentions to strike this Friday, a spokesperson for Uber said: “Uber’s pricing can vary by trip in order to improve reliability at certain times [but] drivers are always shown how much they’ll be paid before accepting a trip, and they receive 100% of this amount.
“There have been a number of important changes to the way drivers earn on Uber since 2021.
“Uber is the only platform to provide holiday pay and access to a pension plan to help boost their earnings – which have grown significantly due to recent fare increases and growing rider demand.”
Although talks are still ongoing, it is believed that around 1,000 Ubers drivers in Manchester have agreed not to work on Friday 16 December, according to the MEN.
It is understood they will sign-on rival ride-sharing service Bolt instead.
Featured Image – Flickr
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
Lucky Ramen in Ancoats brunch menuLucky Ramen in Ancoats brunch menu
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.