Uber Gold Coast suspends drivers

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/business/rideshare-execs-deny-claims-gold-coast-uber-drivers-are-being-dismissed-without-proper-hearings/news-story/b6bbf2b6b001aeef8bb8125c2514b462

UP to 10 Uber drivers are being sacked or stood down every week after complaints from passengers.

Reasons for dismissal include “inappropriate” language and sexual conduct towards customers.

Uber said it is forced to sack some operators who breach their driver policy or are found to have blatantly abused passengers.

It is believed to have more than 2000 drivers on the Gold Coast. However, the Queensland branch of the Rideshare Drivers Association of Australia (RDAA) says drivers are being unfairly picked on and it is in discussions with the State Government about industrial reform.

RDAA secretary Les Johnson said he had been swamped with inquiries from drivers claiming they had been unfairly treated by Uber.

Mr Johnson estimated as many as 10 drivers per week were having their accounts deactivated on the Gold Coast.

“The number of people I have inquiring every day is pretty damn scary,” he said.

“There is a government working group. A number of people in that working group would like to see some kind of a tribunal introduced so that people get fair justice. I believe it should be transparent.”

Mr Johnson said often when allegations were made against drivers they were hamstrung in their ability to defend themselves because they were not given the full details by Uber, citing privacy.

“We actually put up on social media that if you get a phone call from them, don’t acknowledge anything — make them tell you exactly what the allegation is,” he said.

An Uber spokesman said the company was committed to balancing the safety of passengers and ensuring drivers accused of wrongdoing are given a fair go.

“Maintaining a safe and respectful environment for both riders and drivers, and ensuring a high-quality ride experience, will always be our priority,” he said.

“We never take the decision to deactivate a driver-partner lightly, and will always give partners the opportunity to share their side if an allegation is made against them.

“We have a driver deactivation policy in place in Australia to outline how and why deactivations may occur for driver-partners in a clear, straightforward and comprehensive way.”