The Unethicality of Peer Production Systems

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Business

Document 1

As a result, most people agree that Uber should raise its ethical standards to maintain its popularity. However, this will not be easy. Uber has had a challenging 2017 since the resignation of co-founder Travis Kalanick, President Jeff Jones and head of business, Emil Michael. The company was struck with unending scandals including violation of workers' rights. It may not be easy for the firm to rise out of these problems. Uber has also been accused of sexually molesting their clients for a long time (Coleman 2). In February 2017, Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee, dedicated a blog post to vent about the prejudice and molestation she allegedly suffered in the company which caused a discussion to ensue about the firm's questionable work culture. Back in 2014, Kalanick had faced a significant backlash after making a sexist comment during the GQ interview. He talked about his fantasy of sexual attraction. Moreover, Uber was the centre of attention after it made fake bookings to negatively affect its chief rival Lyft and also attempting to track its drivers. Uber's tracking system again raised eyebrows in 2014 such that in 2016, a study conducted by a forensic investigation revealed that employees did spy on politicians and even celebrities like Beyoncé. Again, at the beginning of January, Uber faced more problems after the hashtag ‘#DeleteUber' went viral due to the firm hiking travelling costs during a demonstration against Donald Trump's travel ban (Murgia 2). In February, Alphabet, Google's company, sued Uber for allegedly stealing the self-driving technology idea. Uber apparently launched the programme but withdrew the whole idea since it did not seek permission from the relevant authorities.

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Fowlers' blog post gave others with the same predicament, the courage to voice their concerns about sexual harassment. In the same year, 20 Uber employees were sacked for not disclosing the sexist issue in the workplace. Another Uber employee, Eric Alexander was also fired after he was found with medical records of a lady who said she was molested by an Uber driver to tarnish her account. The woman is currently suing the firm. It may seem that the company may, in fact, redeem itself by offering better services to their customers and drivers. However, this may not be possible. Amazon has been the most significant online retailing organization in the world judging from its massive investments and profits. It is now considered the most superior in this market albeit the rise of various sectors (Carson 1).

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It is also perceived a monopoly in platforms such as selling eBooks. As a result, Amazon is using this advantage to enhance huge profits which will also be shared among its investors. In essence, both companies, Uber and Amazon, predominantly depend on investors reducing the customer prices and hence enhancing loyal customers and increased costs of the products. For instance, the raising of the customers' prices and reducing drivers' salaries caused the 3billion US dollars loss in 2016. For a fact, these losses have to be paid back in full, years to come and there is also a possibility of more losses. According to a comprehensive study conducted by Hogan, Uber is still currently the only great startup operating at massive losses. Uber's operations and services rely on approximately 2 million US dollars on subsidies every year.

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In short, Uber is operating under tremendous losses than any other famous company in the world. The only benefit that Uber has is the ability to offer passengers the opportunity to travel often and frequently (Huet 2). That being said, it's easy to navigate app as compared to its rival companies may not compensate for its staggering high fares. If Uber happens to fail, some experts may come up with a taxi business that fits with this modern age. For instance, a company that predominantly profits the drivers but not venture capital through cooperatives such as the one in the making in Austin, Texas. Deliveroo, a food delivery firm, is another business that offers services similar to Uber. After the introduction of the dos and don'ts document list, several workers have protested arguing that even self-employed contractors deserve rights as much as the company's permanent staff members.

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The workers include a team of Deliveroo couriers taking legal action against the food delivery organization (Coleman 7). They allege that they deserve proper employment rights such as better wages, sick leave and holidays. Some 20 delivery riders claimed they are employees and not self-employed contractors as the company insisted. The Deliveroo is expecting a possible legal action since the riders are demanding compensation for not enjoying holiday leaves and also receiving lower wages from what is expected of an employee (Peterson 4). Although Will Shu, the founder of Deliveroo, has alleged that the company provides high flexible wages to the riders and couriers, The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain's general secretary, Jason Mayor-Lee, differs arguing that Deliveroo has created new vocabularies to conceal their intentions (Nicholson 5). Employment tribunal cases commensurate with Deliveroo's lawsuit filed by workers include action taken by Uber taxi drivers, CitySprint and Excel couriers.

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The three cases revolve around the alleged violation of workers' rights which means that they too deserved holiday pay and better wages just like regular employees (Pitas 6). Lawyer Annie Powell, who also took legal action against Uber, said that the fact that riders are working independently as self-employed does not add up at all (Titcomb 4). She insisted that since Deliveroo riders provide Deliveroo services which include delivering food and drinks to customers, then they are ultimately their employees. Pitas, Costas. After Uber case, UK union pushes for pay deal at Deliveroo. London: Technology News, 2016. Murgia, Madhumita "Deliveroo couriers, demand union recognition and rights in the UK. London: The Financial Times, 2016. The long strange journey of Uber. Boston: The Boston Globe, 2017. Solomon, Brian. Uber's Financials Show Huge Growth, Even Bigger Losses". Boston: The Boston Globe, 2017.

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