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What If the "Sharing Economy" Organized a Strike, and Nobody Came?

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the arise-workers-and-throw-off-your-ah-what-the-hell dept.

The Almighty Buck 139

Nerval's Lobster writes "In Boston, a number of UberX drivers reportedly planned to strike yesterday afternoon in response to a rate cut. (UberX is a low-cost program from Uber, which is attempting to "disrupt" the traditional cab industry via a mobile app that connects ordinary drivers in need of cash with passengers who want to go somewhere.) Uber tried to preempt the strike with a blog posting explaining that the rate cut actually translated into more customers and thus more revenue to drivers, but it needn't have bothered: according to local media (the same media that reported a strike was in the making) a strike failed to materialize. Many of the biggest firms of the so-called 'sharing economy,' such as Uber and Airbnb, are locked in battle with some combination of deeply entrenched industries and government regulators. But if the 'labor' that drives the sharing economy becomes more agitated about its compensation, it could create yet another interesting wrinkle. The Boston strike may have fizzled, but that doesn't mean another one, in a different city, won't enjoy more success." Free (or freer) entry makes occupation-based roadblocks harder to enforce, though, so Uber and other crowd-sourcing matchmakers are tougher to pin down and disrupt in the way that more tightly controlled enterprises are. (Not that city councils and other bodies aren't trying to corral crowd-sourced undertakings into their regulatory purviews, putting a damper on some of that freewheeling disintermediation.)

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139 comments

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45226505)

I imagine much same as a public transit strike (or a mail strike or a strike by any other kind of service used by the public):
- Many users would be somewhat inconvenienced, but they would deal with it
- Some people would be severely inconvenienced (you'd have the kid who couldn't visit his dying grandmother one last time and the student who had to drop out of university on the news)
- A small group of people would lose faith in the whole idea and never use it again
- You’d see a drop in usage, followed by a gradual climb back to pre-strike numbers as the reasons and motivations to use the service haven’t really changed

Re:Easy (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 5 months ago | (#45226939)

Or maybe switch to an alternative sharing app?

The reason why there are unions – and their ultimate weapon the strike – is to redress the power balance between labor and the firm. The other choice is for workers to quite their current firm and join another but that is expensive. Need to find a new job, learn new skills, etc. And in the bad old days, worry about company towns, blacklists, etc.

I don’t see that high of a barrier to entry so I don’t see the firm having that much power. It’s the labor that’s got the capital (cars, spare rooms, etc.) in this example. If Uber cranks shafts labor it would not be that hard for a rival to launch another app. Yes, Uber would have some type of power due to it’s networking affects but those can crumble quickly.

Re:Easy (0, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 5 months ago | (#45227713)

The reason why there are unions – and their ultimate weapon the strike – is to get the workers to hand over part of their paycheck and make the union organizers rich.

1% 1% 1%

Re:Easy (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#45228717)

Unions were created when employers would rather kill 10 workers than spend $100 on a safety widget. And when strikes happened, the employers would call in private security with a license to kill. That the union bosses had to be more ruthless than mob bosses to deal with the amoral employers is the fault of the employers. They got the unions they deserved, and no worse.

It's always hilarious to me when the free market nutjobs defend corporations as freedom to assemble and such, but unions should be illegal. What, you shouldn't be free to assemble workers, only free to assemble capital?

Re:Easy (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 5 months ago | (#45228885)

I don't think anybody wants unions to be illegal. My personal opinion is that you shouldn't be forced to contribute to their political lobbying (union dues invariably do this) as a condition of employment, nor should you be forced to strike if you as an individual don't want to.

Those two are freedom of speech and assembly respectively, yet not going along with them can cost you your job if you're in a union shop.

Re:Easy (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 5 months ago | (#45229135)

1. Everything is politics. Just by existing, a union is being political;
2. Freedom of assembly MUST mean that employees have a right to agree not to work with someone who isn't in the union - otherwise it isn't freedom of assembly;
3. Nobody can force you to strike. But the rest of the workforce can refuse to work with those who won't take part in an agreed strike. Again, freedom of assembly.

You can't say, "I agree with unions except to the extent that they decide to do stuff I don't like." It's not up to you. They're choosing to assemble freely, and will do so as they please.

Re:Easy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#45229221)

Because standing up to employers got you shot, unions started out as political organizations. OSHA and such wouldn't exist if unions didn't petition for them. Separating unions from politics is as easy as separating the Democrats or Republicans from politics.

nor should you be forced to strike if you as an individual don't want to.

If you sign a contract (in a right to work state) indicating that if the union votes to strike, you will strike, you should never be held to the contract you signed of your own free will? Why do you hate contracts?

Re:Easy (-1)

demachina (71715) | about 5 months ago | (#45229715)

So what did Unions, OSHA, Workmens Comp and the EPA accomplish in the long run?

They made the U.S. a horrible place to engage in any business that could easily be outsourced to another country with a lower regulatory burden, taxes and wages. The worker's paradise angle worked until the economy globalized, now it doesn't.

So increasingly there are no low skilled jobs in the U.S. Automation is also a union and job killer because its better to spend a lot of money on a machine than deal with employees. Wage rates are dropping, the U.S. runs massive trade deficits and government is massively in the red because its spending more than its shrinking tax base will support (tax cuts for the rich under Bush certainly helped, as did over promising on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and squandering on the defense-intelligence complex.

Wonder why healthy unions in the U.S. tend to only be fire, police, teaching, government, truck driving. Because those are the jobs that can't be outsourced.

There was a sweet spot in there, maybe around 1950 where unions and government regulation hit a sweet spot, they'd wiped out all the massive abuses of workers earlier in the century and built a big middle class, and then they over rotated and made the U.S. a horrible place to do business. If you don't have business you tend to not have jobs, then you have a lot of people living on food stamps and Medicaid.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45230817)

"They made the U.S. a horrible place to engage in any business that could easily be outsourced to another country"
LOL

Shutup and go work in a deathtrap coal mine you fucking freemarket turd. Oh wait; there are health and safety laws that make it illegal to work in a deathtrap?
Go move to China and work in a shithole, getting paid shitall in a deathtrap factory.

Then come back here and tell us all how bad unions have made it to work in America.

Fuck you assholes are so wilfully blind.

Re:Easy (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#45230465)

OSHA and such wouldn't exist if unions didn't petition for them.

Not only is that bullshit, there is absolutely nothing to back up that claim.

If you sign a contract (in a right to work state) indicating that if the union votes to strike, you will strike, you should never be held to the contract you signed of your own free will? Why do you hate contracts?

Uhm, you need to get a clue. 'Right to work' does EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what you're implying. The Right to Work means the union can not force you to be part of their strike, nor can you be required to join a union in order to get a job. Unions are toothless in right to work states because they can't force anyone to participate in their games. This is why ... there generally aren't any unions in right to work states, they are pointless, union says strike! and the people go on strike ... only to be replaced immediately by people who are happy to get paid rather than hang out with those people who clearly make enough money that they can bitch about work rather than get paid to work.

Do you ever make a post here that isn't ridiculously inaccurate?

Re:Easy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#45230717)

Uhm, you need to get a clue. 'Right to work' does EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what you're implying.

You can still sign those contracts in right to work states. What you can't do in right to work states is fire someone for quitting the union. When you learn the meanings of the big words, feel free to come back and play.

Re:Easy (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#45230441)

Uhm, the 'license to kill' thing you are referring to was the Pinkertons ... and a strike and what they did have no relation. They didn't go to anyones homes and shoot people, they shot at the mob breaking the fence down at the factory they were striking in front of.

Today, we'd just let the cops shoot them for destruction of property.

If you think modern unions are a good thing, you're an idiot to stupid to realize you're just feeding someone else money to use you as their pawn in a game of politics.

Re:Easy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#45230731)

Modern unions are what corporations deserve for past evils. Unions exist *solely* because of worker mistreatment at the hands of employers. You are just upset because unions generally vote the opposite of your personal preference. You are no less political, you just oppose the unions because their ideas conflict with yours, not how they do it.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45231121)

Why was the above marked as "Troll"?

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45228699)

The reason why there are unions – and their ultimate weapon the strike – is to redress the power balance between labor and the firm. The other choice is for workers to quite their current firm and join another but that is expensive.

Oh, is that what it is? That must be why my workplace - where joining a union will get you fired - hasn't given a pay increase in 5 years, and I was given a written warning for taking the breaks that I'm legally entitled to.

Re:Easy (0)

OakDragon (885217) | about 5 months ago | (#45226989)

...you'd have the kid who couldn't visit his dying grandmother one last time and the student who had to drop out of university on the news...

Quick, somebody call President Obama!

Lube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45226517)

Needs more lube...

Labor is valueless (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#45226563)

As long as the money is concentrated in very few hands, the price of labor basically becomes fiat of the wealthy. You, as a first world citizen, can't compete on price and survive.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#45226781)

Not to worry, statistics suggest that the luckless residents of the third world are having considerable trouble competing on price and surviving as well...

In certain specific cases, a sudden outbreak of competition-on-price (say, an outsourcing, or the liberalization of trade policy in a previously tariff-protected industry) may really show a group of first world workers how much they can't compete on price with some 3rd-worlders of similar skill; but in the longer term, it's not as though being unable to compete on price is exclusive to the first world: Unless you have some very-hard-to-reproduce talent (in which case you aren't competing on price), the expected price set by pure price competition will be whatever bare subsistence costs(any lower, and the labor will starve, any higher and somebody who is unemployed will be willing to work for bare subsistence...)

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#45226901)

That glimmer of hope you provide is assuming money cannot be used to directly displace labor. It can. Or at least will.

Re:Labor is valueless (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 5 months ago | (#45227209)

I think what you mean is capital, not money.

Of course in the long run more and improved capital increases productivity and productivity gains are the main driver behind increasing wages. Which is not to say that capital wont displace today’s workers – see the luddites.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#45227227)

But productivity isn't the same as outright replacement. It's not far to imagine a profitable business with zero employees in the near future.

Re:Labor is valueless (3, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 5 months ago | (#45226931)

In certain specific cases, a sudden outbreak of competition-on-price (say, an outsourcing, or the liberalization of trade policy in a previously tariff-protected industry) may really show a group of first world workers how much they can't compete on price with some 3rd-worlders of similar skill; but in the longer term, it's not as though being unable to compete on price is exclusive to the first world: Unless you have some very-hard-to-reproduce talent (in which case you aren't competing on price), the expected price set by pure price competition will be whatever bare subsistence costs(any lower, and the labor will starve, any higher and somebody who is unemployed will be willing to work for bare subsistence...)

Except that there is very rarely pure price competition, which is why we didn't see ever increasing dystopia since the industrial revolution.

Sorry, you can't blame the current economy on too much capitalism. (Or too much robotics, for another favorite dystopian scenario).

No, something else happened circa 2008 to turn a recession into an ongoing malaise. And it sure as heck wasn't too much capitalism or too little government.

Re:Labor is valueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227475)

I'd say things like minimum wages, trust busting, and OSHA may have helped. The US radically transformed after the New Deal, and our standard of living INCREASED. But you keep believing something fundamental changed in 2008 (after the recession hit) if you want. I'll focus on facts.

Re:Labor is valueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227769)

I don't think the observation is about the economy, but the individuals in the economy.

You can have a strong economy while many people are stuck on bare subsistence level, as we at the top generate most of the economic activity.

I would argue that we have seen increasing dystopia. In my view, all the various labor and socialist and communist movements IS that dystopia. They are a reaction/response to capitalism. I don't think it's a coincidence that socialism became a serious threat only after the Industrial Revolution

Re:Labor is valueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45228017)

In certain specific cases, a sudden outbreak of competition-on-price (say, an outsourcing, or the liberalization of trade policy in a previously tariff-protected industry) may really show a group of first world workers how much they can't compete on price with some 3rd-worlders of similar skill; but in the longer term, it's not as though being unable to compete on price is exclusive to the first world: Unless you have some very-hard-to-reproduce talent (in which case you aren't competing on price), the expected price set by pure price competition will be whatever bare subsistence costs(any lower, and the labor will starve, any higher and somebody who is unemployed will be willing to work for bare subsistence...)

Except that there is very rarely pure price competition, which is why we didn't see ever increasing dystopia since the industrial revolution.

Sorry, you can't blame the current economy on too much capitalism. (Or too much robotics, for another favorite dystopian scenario).

No, something else happened circa 2008 to turn a recession into an ongoing malaise. And it sure as heck wasn't too much capitalism or too little government.

You mean, like the chief executives in The Cabal vowing that they would make the country suffer under a socialist/communist President? Yeah. that's what I was thinking too. That must be it, good ol Cabal. They sure know how to make ya smile don't they.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 5 months ago | (#45227179)

the expected price set by pure price competition will be whatever bare subsistence costs

The expected price will be the Nth highest benefit of any employer of employing such a person, where N is the number of people on earth capable of doing the job. Any lower, and some other employer will benefit from hiring the employee at a higher pay. Globalization increases N, but it also increases the number of companies that can employ you.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 5 months ago | (#45229119)

That's "supply and demand". Labor is a resource just like anything else. As long as the supply of unskilled labor outpaces demand, wages (price) will not increase.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45226801)

This is why most large cities have regulated taxi services. The end result is effectively similar to a union... driving a taxi provides livable wage. Or at least it has so far, until Uber, etc, eat their lunch.

It's incredible how people talk on-and-on about how the working class keeps getting shafted, but when it comes to supporting things like unions (public or private) or supporting things like Uber, they are incapable of putting two-and-two together.

Don't get me wrong. I think Uber is cool, and am glad its around It's certainly forcing traditional taxi cartels to enter the 21st century. But let's not be ignorant about what the taxi cartels do provide. The often times shitty experience you get from taxis--such as long wait times, etc--is a tax, and that tax goes toward the taxi cab drivers. Let's be honest about what we're really paying, and why.

Re:Labor is valueless (1, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 5 months ago | (#45227535)

Unions and/or licensing/regulation artificially limit and control the labor supply, artificially raising the price of the service. It is by nature inefficient at a minimum, but it usually goes beyond that to become corrupt and protect vested interests at the cost of consumer value.

People need to stop looking at "jobs" as a product, or "living wages" as an entitlement. If you really want "living wages" for every job, you're going to make a huge swath of work illegal. We've already done that, which is why youth unemployment, especially of/for minorities, has been at record levels. And it cuts people off at the knees, because now they have no entry-level foundation to build on. I'm amazed we have any economy at all at this point. (We probably wouldn't without commensurate slack being taken up by welfare and crime.)

Re:Labor is valueless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45229477)

I wasn't aware that the laws of biology and physics had been canceled. Can you forward the memo?

A living wage is just that, the minimum wage on which people can LIVE. If a living wage is not paid by one's employer, the person must either die or receive the missing portion from another source. Right now that other source is the state in the form of food stamps and other benefits. Employers know that. McDonald's and Wal-Mart have entire departments dedicated to helping their workers get whatever they refuse to pay them from the state.

McDonald's bitches that if they paid a living wage the price of a BigMac would go up by whatever and the consumer would therefore have to pay more. Guess what? The consumer ALREADY pays more in the form of taxes that are then used to pay for benefits that help poorly paid MCDonald's employees.
And in reality McDonald's doesn't have to raise prices. They can also lower their profits (i.e. allocate more of their earnings towards paying for labor). They can afford it. There is no doubt about that.

Re:Labor is valueless (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45227005)

As long as the money is concentrated in very few hands,

It isn't. Even if it were, what does it have to do with Uber? What's driving down the wages in this case is that these drivers are offering a service that requires little special training and has a low cost of entry. Historically, through rent seeking and monopolization, they have been able to fleece their customers. Now that there is actual competition, their wages decrease, as they should. I as a customer do not owe a cab driver a good income, I owe him exactly and only as much as the cheapest guy willing to offer the service to me.

Furthermore, if I take my own usage of Uber as an example, they are getting more customers. I almost never take cabs because they are such a hassle and so unpredictable, but Uber is a much better experience.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#45227761)

It isn't. Even if it were, what does it have to do with Uber? What's driving down the wages in this case is that these drivers are offering a service that requires little special training and has a low cost of entry. Historically, through rent seeking and monopolization, they have been able to fleece their customers. Now that there is actual competition, their wages decrease, as they should. I as a customer do not owe a cab driver a good income, I owe him exactly and only as much as the cheapest guy willing to offer the service to me.

Furthermore, if I take my own usage of Uber as an example, they are getting more customers. I almost never take cabs because they are such a hassle and so unpredictable, but Uber is a much better experience.

For now. Because unless you can pick drivers, the better way to "strike" is to do stuff where there's a lot of flexibility. There are plenty of ways to protest that will hurt Uber more.

Like poor pre-planning - getting "lost" or purposely driving into gridlock which can turn a 20 minute car ride into a 40 minutes or more. Or taking roundabout routes, or driving dangerously, etc.

Or hell, having a jalopy and "breaking down". Add bonus points for breaking down and having a bunch of the driver's buddies fleece the customer.

All it takes is for a few people to experience this to get Uber's reputation down.

Right now things are good because it's early. Once greed and ways to beat the system come in, it'll degrade very quickly. Unlicensed cabs are still unlicensed cabs.

Re:Labor is valueless (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45229745)

For now. Because unless you can pick drivers, the better way to "strike" is to do stuff where there's a lot of flexibility. There are plenty of ways to protest that will hurt Uber more. Like poor pre-planning - getting "lost" or purposely driving into gridlock which can turn a 20 minute car ride into a 40 minutes or more. Or taking roundabout routes, or driving dangerously, etc.

You'll get bad ratings or reported to the police. Good luck with that.

Right now things are good because it's early. Once greed and ways to beat the system come in, it'll degrade very quickly. Unlicensed cabs are still unlicensed cabs.

F*ck licensed cabs; they are a scam. I'll rather take public transit than to pay those bloodsuckers.

Local markets vs. global markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227047)

Great soundbite, but wrong in some cases. Notably, wrong in the case being discussed.

A livery driver in New York makes many times more than a livery driver in India. But they do not compete for the same customers. An autoric driver in Delhi isn't competing to pick up the passenger in midtown Manhattan.

An UberX driver competes with taxi drivers and limo drivers and maybe rideshare programs. With bicycles. But not with non-first-world citizens.

Re:Local markets vs. global markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227711)

With sufficiently high unemployment, local v global becomes irrelevant in that you're competing against others struggling to pay their bills.

Re:Labor is valueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45230177)

This doesn't really apply to jobs that cannot be shipped to the lowest cost labor market, like driving a taxi.

Kinda like... (1)

retech (1228598) | about 5 months ago | (#45226579)

...having a Democracy and no one votes. But with less spin and less FOX news.

Obligatory /. car analogy, tumblrwords, kitten photo link, memegenerator pic, #whogivesafuck

A Peek At The Market (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#45226623)

Quite the opposite of what happens when a government monopoly on things has their labor go on strike, like mail (pre-internet, when it was really needed) or public transportation of today, the consumer has plenty of other choices and they exercise them.

Unfortunately, in the case of cabs, the big alternative is a government enforced heavily restricted set of providers (a peek at the Boston version here [cityofboston.gov] ).

Re:A Peek At The Market (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45226733)

Quite the opposite of what happens when a government monopoly on things has their labor go on strike, like mail (pre-internet, when it was really needed) or public transportation of today

It's a little scary to see a commenter automatically assume that the only people who ever go on strike are government workers -- proud private sector union employee here. The Taft-Hartley Act had the effect, in the US, of slowly killing the private sector union and leaving only government employees organized, so that union formation became a privilege or a bennie, as opposed to a protected right of anyone who works.

This is exactly how actions against private firms are supposed to operate. Uber drivers strike or boycott against Uber, a competitor snags available clients until Uber and the drivers reach an agreement. The fact that all Uber drivers are on the Internet makes them easier to organize, but it makes a picket harder to enforce: how do the strikers know for sure their buddy isn't taking Uber work while they're on "strike?"

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45227073)

The Taft-Hartley Act had the effect, in the US, of slowly killing the private sector union and leaving only government employees organized, so that union formation became a privilege or a bennie, as opposed to a protected right of anyone who works.

Taft Hartley doesn't prevent workers from organizing, it limits the ability of unions from imposing their views on workers who don't share them. Since there seem to be enough of those to make unions much less effective, they have been declining in power.

but it makes a picket harder to enforce: how do the strikers know for sure their buddy isn't taking Uber work while they're on "strike?"

By what right should unions be able to "enforce" pickets or strikes? If I'm not a member of your union, you have no business interfering in my affairs or what work I choose to do.

Voluntary collective bargaining is a good thing. Unions imposing their views on non-members is not acceptable.

Re:A Peek At The Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227117)

Wooooosh!

You've written an idealogical response to a discussion of mechanics.

Re:A Peek At The Market (2)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | about 5 months ago | (#45227733)

I actually work under a union (SEIU 503):

My union doesn't impose their views on me - I'm not sure how that would actually work. They do send out a newsletter - I can either read it or not. Contrary to what you may think they don't shout their beliefs over loudspeaker.

You can't do anything (really) to prevent someone from crossing the line, but you can make it more difficult. While your co-workers are out working hard to keep management from decreasing your pay you sit on your ass reaping the benefits.

On your last point - I hate people who reap all the benefits that we worked hard for in our union, but don't participate at all. If you don't like working in a union shop - leave the company - that's your right to work :).

Unions worked hard for the weekend - remember that any time you have a day off.

Re:A Peek At The Market (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45229829)

My union doesn't impose their views on me - I'm not sure how that would actually work.

Well, that's because we have Taft Hartley, right to work, and a lot of other laws restricting the power of unions.

Unions worked hard for the weekend - remember that any time you have a day off.

The 5 day, 40h work week was introduced by Ford in 1926 in order to increase productivity, under no pressure from unions.

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/HENRY_FORD:_Why_I_Favor_Five_Days'_Work_With_Six_Days'_Pay [wikisource.org]

In different words, you're a liar. But that's to be expected, I suppose.

Re:A Peek At The Market (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 6 months ago | (#45230029)

The 5 day, 40h work week was introduced by Ford in 1926 in order to increase productivity, under no pressure from unions.

Well, that's what he said, anyways, obviously he'd have a pretty good reason not to seem stampeded into it. Unions had been agitating for a five-day week for decades and he didn't invent the thing, it was common the textile industry since the aughts, mainly because a significant number of Jews were involved in needle trades and they wanted to have Saturdays off for the sabbath. (Ford was of course a terrific anti-Semite, so this probably wasn't his justification.)

The catch with all of Ford's labor innovations were that they were always understood to be a gift on his part. It had to be his idea, and his time to give. The suggestion that labor had earned it, or that it was their due, was out of the question, and he reserved the right to withdraw his liberal labor practices at a moment's notice if anything displeased him.

A lot like Disney later on, he took the organizing of his business as a personal betrayal, because he'd always seen himself not as an employer or an economic actor, but as a sort of father who, through his benevolence, had earned the right to tell people how to live their lives. This was the same guy that mandated his employees go to dances, took it upon himself to organize their social lives and wasn't afraid of firing people for looking funny or having heterodox opinions. Unions are completely antithetical to this idea -- you should be able to live however you damn please and win high wages and benefits not as some gift, but through hard bargaining.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#45230611)

You can't do anything (really) to prevent someone from crossing the line, but you can make it more difficult. While your co-workers are out working hard to keep management from decreasing your pay you sit on your ass reaping the benefits.

Wow, just wow. I would LOVE to see you say that to the Teamsters union. Next thing you know, you're ass will be wearing cement shoes and talking to fish.

Unions worked hard for the weekend - remember that any time you have a day off.

Yea, because ... wait, what? Unions have nothing to do with the work week. There is absolutely nothing that prevents a company from requiring you to work more than 40 hours, and many many do, even those with unions.

The 40 hour work week can be traced back to Ford Motors, who found that by working 40 hour weeks, rotating shifts, and shutting down the main production line for servicing by a different crew on the weekends, productivity went through the roof. Unions didn't have dick to do with it.

On your last point - I hate people who reap all the benefits that we worked hard for in our union, but don't participate at all. If you don't like working in a union shop - leave the company - that's your right to work :).

Go fuck yourself you selfish prick. Who the fuck are you to tell someone else what they can and can't do. This shithead mentality is why states started with the whole right-to-work thing, effectively destroying the functionality of the union. Union politics were resulting in people unable to work because the union was preventing it to promote its own selfish needs. God you're an idiot, a hundred years of unions constantly fucking over their constituents and you're too ignorant of the history to even know you're getting fucked in the ass.

Unions have cost more money and jobs than they've ever helped.

Re:A Peek At The Market (3)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 6 months ago | (#45231061)

Wow, just wow. I would LOVE to see you say that to the Teamsters union. Next thing you know, you're ass will be wearing cement shoes and talking to fish

Stop watching TV and restrict your comments to things that happen in the real world.

The 40 hour work week can be traced back to Ford Motors, who found that by working 40 hour weeks

Uh, the 8 hour day can be traced, in American history, to labor agitation going back to the 1830s. The AFL made an 8 hour day part of its platform in 1886. The United Mine Workers won an 8 hour day through collective bargaining in 1898, and many organized skilled trades won an 8 hour day around this period. Citing Ford as the creator of the 8 hour day is like saying John Glenn invented powered flight. Ford, at best, was an 8-hour day concern troll who undertook the change to mollify trade unionists who were attempting to organize the auto industry at the time.

Who the fuck are you to tell someone else what they can and can't do.

Well, the capitalist/propertarian status quo ante is based on the idea that "you can tell someone else what they can and can't do" if you're an employer, because you own. Trade unionism is a reaction to that, it's based on the idea that a union can tell someone else what they can and can't do because it has strength in numbers, and it fights for a just cause: for a fair and equitable stake for labor. Both positions are founded in moral sentiments.

This shithead mentality is why states started with the whole right-to-work thing, effectively destroying the functionality of the union.

The "right-to-work thing" traces its roots to the fact that wage-earning is considered socially low-status in the south, to the extent that politicians could kick factory workers in the teeth and nobody would raise a finger in protest. There was also the fear at the time that African-Americans would begin to join unions, as the racist attitude that had prevailed in organized labor through the first half of the century abated, and that they would serve as a cradle for racial "agitation" and activism.

Re:A Peek At The Market (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45227891)

Taft Hartley doesn't prevent workers from organizing, it limits the ability of unions from imposing their views on workers who don't share them. Since there seem to be enough of those to make unions much less effective, they have been declining in power.

The operative parts of Taft-Hartley here would be:

1) The sanction of "Right to Work" laws and jurisdictions, which abridge the right to contract. If you own a company in a right-to-work state, the you're surrounded by a magic bubble that makes it impossible for you to ever sign a contract of adhesion with labor. Any other company can compel whatever terms they please -- cable companies have contract rights than employees.

2) The prohibition on secondary actions, sympathy strikes and boycotts.

3) The general complications arising from forming a union, the card check requirements, the arbitrarily high bar imposed on NLRB recognition of a collective bargaining unit. The NLRB's utter toothlessness in policing employer corruption and tampering in union votes would be a contributing issue to this, including intimidation, misinformation campaigns, pretense firings of organizers and activists...

By what right should unions be able to "enforce" pickets or strikes? If I'm not a member of your union, you have no business interfering in my affairs or what work I choose to do.

That's why the union has a contract with the employer, wherein the employer agrees to not hire anyone who isn't a member of the union. That's basically how it works.

Pickets and boycotts are mostly effective, because human beings have shame. It depends on the cause though; I work in the entertainment industry and in LA, everyone else does, so everyone understands what's at stake for the people on strike and people respect picket lines. Similarly, if hotel cleaning staff are protesting to make a living wage instead of $8 an hour, people will tend to be sympathetic. These kinds of strikes work. Striking public employees are a lot less successful; if the BART strike in SF had gone on for another week or two it probably would have rolled the union.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 5 months ago | (#45229343)

Taft Hartley doesn't prevent workers from organizing, it limits the ability of unions from imposing their views on workers who don't share them. Since there seem to be enough of those to make unions much less effective, they have been declining in power.

The operative parts of Taft-Hartley here would be:

1) The sanction of "Right to Work" laws and jurisdictions, which abridge the right to contract. If you own a company in a right-to-work state, the you're surrounded by a magic bubble that makes it impossible for you to ever sign a contract of adhesion with labor. Any other company can compel whatever terms they please -- cable companies have contract rights than employees.

They don't at all abridge the right to contract. They just abridge the right of certain employees to force _other_ employees to contract. It's non-right-to-work jurisdictions that abridge the right to contract, by prohibiting employers from choosing NOT to contract.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45229565)

Nah nah, you don't understand what a right-to-work law is. It means an employer cannot require that you be a member of a labor org in order to work. Under current US labor law, there are no true closed shops, and a unions is required to offer membership to a nonmember employee once he's worked in the shop for more than 90 days.

An employee doesn't have a contract with the union that lets you work -- I'm an IA brother, and I have no contract with the IA -- the employer has a contract with the union that requires that they only hire union members, except under certain circumstances. A right-to-work law makes these provisions of union contracts unenforceable.

I've found that a lot of people in the US are profoundly ignorant of how labor unions work, and labor organization general. Everyone seems to think that employment norms just sortof emerged by magic sometime around World War II, and that unions are completely arbitrary entrenched interests that nobody wants, but some employers are just too stupid or corrupt to avoid, and the workers are all featherbedding lackeys. It just doesn't work that way; the problem is that everyone in the US seems to take their knowledge of unions from TV reports of public sector unions, with a liberal dash of things they say in On the Waterfront, The Godfather, and Blue Collar.

Re:A Peek At The Market (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45229695)

Here, wiki has an okay overview [wikipedia.org] . The system used to be more like you describe, between the passage of the Wagner Act and Taft-Hartley, but since the lat 1940s there've been no closed shops. Neither an employer nor a union can force you to join a union, at best they can make you pay an agency fee, which are dues less whatever the union spends on political action.

Compare this with the rights of a shareholder, who nominally is free to invest or not, but has no say over how his investment is used for political speech. Really what's happened over the past 70 years is rich people and the managerial class have convinced the government to slowly cripple bottom-up capital organizations, things like unions, community orgs, NGOs and social/environmental activists, tarring them as "special interests," while they walk away with all the money and spend it freely and without any limitation on political campaigns, often without the sort of consent on the part of their constituencies that they routinely accuse unions of breaching.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45229737)

The sanction of "Right to Work" laws and jurisdictions, which abridge the right to contract

Yes, we restrict the right to contract in certain ways. For example, you can't make a contract selling yourself into slavery. You can't make a contract charging unreasonable interest. And you can't make a "closed shop contract", for pretty much the same reasons. Note that the EU court of human rights has found that closed shop agreements violate freedom of association, so the US is hardly alone in this.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45229955)

Yes, we restrict the right to contract in certain ways. For example, you can't make a contract selling yourself into slavery

The equation of a union security agreement with slavery is ridiculous and morally revolting. On the one hand we have generations under the lash, a decrepit neo-feudal economy, institutionalized rape, and genocide; and on the other hand, we have double time on Sundays. The comparison is idiotic.

Closed shops are not required for unions to work, unions as we know them are dispensable, the real issue is the construction of laws to target certain people and groups, namely the working poor, to systematically deprive them of political representation. Right-to-work doesn't help workers– it exists to protect employers, to realize producerist ideology, to keep capital unaccountable and ascendant over all other forms of human society.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#45227199)

Quite the opposite of what happens when a government monopoly on things has their labor go on strike, like mail (pre-internet, when it was really needed) or public transportation of today

It's a little scary to see a commenter automatically assume that the only people who ever go on strike are government workers -- proud private sector union employee here. The Taft-Hartley Act had the effect, in the US, of slowly killing the private sector union and leaving only government employees organized, so that union formation became a privilege or a bennie, as opposed to a protected right of anyone who works.

This is exactly how actions against private firms are supposed to operate. Uber drivers strike or boycott against Uber, a competitor snags available clients until Uber and the drivers reach an agreement. The fact that all Uber drivers are on the Internet makes them easier to organize, but it makes a picket harder to enforce: how do the strikers know for sure their buddy isn't taking Uber work while they're on "strike?"

Okay, then substitute my examples with AT&T back when they were the government protected monopoly for long distance service in the US. Consumers did not have an easy alternative if they went on strike. In the current environment, they do, and Taft-Hartley has precious little if anything to do with that.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45228365)

You're aware that a strike doesn't have to act on a monopoly in order to be a strike, right? Most strikes don't.

A few years ago I picketed a studio that was hiring non-IATSE crews for projects paid for under a distribution agreement with NBC [deadline.com] , a violation of NBC's contract. It was effective, it was definitely a strike, an no consumers were affected. Or do you think unions exist only to immiserate consumers?

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 5 months ago | (#45229081)

You're aware that a strike doesn't have to act on a monopoly in order to be a strike, right?

Yes and I never said a word to indicate that I thought anything like that.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 months ago | (#45229967)

I'm not sure what your point is then... All your examples of strikes involve monopolies and service disruptions.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#45230631)

So basically, you're trying to force your will on others by not allowing them to work for what you're unwilling to work for.

Spoiled asshole.

Re:A Peek At The Market (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 6 months ago | (#45230689)

You have to see it as an adverse selection problem. LLP was paying production people about half the going rate for the same work someone paid union scale. If everyone agreed to that it wouldn't do anyone any good. I mean there's some imposition of will going on here, but it's either our will or management's, there's no middle ground here where free people make a free exchange. They'd like you to believe that, but It's a sham, it's false consciousness.

What "sharing economy"? (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about 5 months ago | (#45226627)

Are they still trying to maintain the transparent fiction that this is anything but a taxi company that doesn't want to be called one, for regulatory purposes? They talk about driver earnings per hour, yet want to be treated like some college buddies carpooling home for thanksgiving break. It's a crock.

Re:What "sharing economy"? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45226687)

Have to agree.

Look, nobody likes taxes, licensing restrictions, having to clean your car, or requiring you don't just hang out at the airport where people will pay tons of money.

The reasons we have those is that unlicensed cabs were a big problem.

What gets me is how many people around here actually drive to the airport, with just one bag, when it's usually faster and easier to take the light rail or bus there, instead of paying $20.

Two kids, one cake (5, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 5 months ago | (#45226999)

Look, nobody likes taxes, licensing restrictions, having to clean your car, or requiring you don't just hang out at the airport where people will pay tons of money.

The reasons we have those is that unlicensed cabs were a big problem.

Unlicensed cabs were a big problem because cabs and customers were not regulated.

The government stepped in and cleaned up the cabs, enforcing a standard of quality control of the cabbies but not the customers. It's the "regulation" model, and it was appropriate for its time, but it only addressed half the issue: a customer could jump out and run away without paying, could slit the seat, could vomit in the seat, or do other unsavory things.

Over time the regulation became less enforced, watered down, corrupt, and fewer people cared. This has resulted in the situation we have now, where many cabs are filthy and disgusting, the cabbie will screw you out of money in various ways (jimming the meter, taking the long route, &c), and it's not particularly safe.

In game theory terms, it's two kids dividing a cake: mom tells one kid to divide the cake equally, then leaves.

With the rise of ubiquitous communication we can now go to a newer model: both cabbies and customers can be vetted by the system. The cabbies are reviewed by the feedback of customers, and the customers are reviewed by the cabbies. Anyone who slits a seat or vomits will get a bad review and won't have access to the drivers in the future. Anyone who drives a filthy car will get a bad review and not have access to passengers in the future.

The game-theory model is different. Instead of one side promising to obey regulation, it's two sides regulating each other. It's the "one child divides the cake, the other child chooses which piece to eat" model.

This is an example of bad regulation which stifles innovation. Cab regulation ensured quality and was done with the best of intentions, but it's been subverted and there's now a better way.

We should embrace the better way.

Re:Two kids, one cake (2)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 5 months ago | (#45227501)

That's pretty much how Airbnb works, and the experience so far has been a joy. Two thumbs up for the better way.

Re:Two kids, one cake (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#45230643)

And when you finally realize its not a better way because you got fucked over by some unlicensed hack ... then what will you say?

Re:Two kids, one cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227651)

One other thing to consider - there's a lot of room for discrimination. It already happens in many cities that cabbies (many of whom are black themselves) avoid picking up black fares for fear of having to drive to a bad neighborhood. There are regulations that are supposed to ensure that any fare can get a ride to where they need to go. In the Uber world, though, there's every likelihood that some of the people most in need of a taxi service will be shut out, because no one will want to drive them to where they are going.

Re:Two kids, one cake (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45229467)

What's wrong with this particular discrimination? Is the health and property of the cabbie not important?

Re:Two kids, one cake (1)

notknown86 (1190215) | about 5 months ago | (#45227967)

Kind of like how a "better way" for books led to a cottage industry in the creation of positive book reviews...

Books, mind you, have the distinct advantage of not having a large knife in the glove box.

Re:Two kids, one cake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45228099)

Unlicensed cabs were a big problem because cabs and customers were not regulated.

The government stepped in and cleaned up the cabs, enforcing a standard of quality control of the cabbies but not the customers. It's the "regulation" model, and it was appropriate for its time, but it only addressed half the issue: a customer could jump out and run away without paying, could slit the seat, could vomit in the seat, or do other unsavory things.

How many cabbies clamor for more customer regulations? Any of them? Hmm. You make a compelling argument but it is not grounded in the reality of the taxicab market in any big city i have ever been to (which is most of them). If you try to run away on a fare, vandalize the cab, etc. the driver can/should call the police, file a report against you, use the in-cab video to generate evidence against you, and ultimately prevent you from doing it again (by letting the police punish you accordingly). Existing laws (and a few new ones) allowed for plenty of protection for the drivers and cab companies.

The cabbie side, on the other hand, was riddled with all the tricks you mentioned (and more), that sound obvious when you say them but are basically undetectable to an average customer who doesn't know better. And what to do? Hmm.

Re:Two kids, one cake (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 5 months ago | (#45229325)

Yeah so that sounds nice, but the law is the law. The "right" thing to do is to get rid of the original regulation. If the system you describe is so great then no one will have a problem with that. You can't just allow some cab companies to skirt the law and not others.

Re:What "sharing economy"? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 5 months ago | (#45229549)

It's hard to predict your arrival times, so I tend to take a shuttle service when going to the airport while giving them the time my flight leaves so they plan it, but when returning home I'll take the light rail since it doesn't matter if I'm late.

Re:What "sharing economy"? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227647)

They talk about driver earnings per hour, yet want to be treated like some college buddies carpooling home for thanksgiving break

They recruit "customers" by pretending to be a ride board. They recruit "drivers" by pretending to be a cab company. Many businesses recruit customers by pretending to be their friend, to want a special relationship with the individual customer, so there's nothing specially surprising about that.

Their relationship to their drivers is much more interesting. They're not trying to recruit full-time drivers, but just people looking to make some extra money in their spare time, which is a very different relationship than a taxi company has with its employees. The rate cut is a nice demonstration of that - Uber's found that they have more people signing up to drive than they have passengers to drive for, and they're testing how low they can go before they start losing fares. My guess is: pretty damn low. People working "in their spare time," will often do so for less than minimum wage, especially if they have the impression that they're working for themselves. Drive around town, meet interesting people, and have them pay gas money? Sure! This is the reason the "strike" and likely any future attempts will fail. There's always going to be someone willing to do the job for a little less money under slightly worse conditions, and if the barriers to entry are low, then there's nothing to keep them from moving in.

Can I RTFA? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45226645)

3/5 of links are back to slashdot
1/5 link to twitter ("according to local media")
1/5 link to a blog ("a blog posting") which I can't load at the moment.

While I do like seeing how slashdot stories interconnect, I would like to get outside opinions as well. Preferably more informative ones than a blog and twitter post.

Welcome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45226759)

Welcome to Slashdot!

It's a lot like a car...

Naked capitalism at work (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 5 months ago | (#45226693)

To wit: strikes require firm, centralized control to take effect, because there are almost always defectors, people at the desperate end of the bell curve who will defect for personal gain.

Then again, the logic of a strike is such that either:
a) it's broadly sustainable, even with a few defections, because the working conditions/pay are bad enough that improvement is generally recognized to be needed, or
b) it's only sustainable with strongarm central enforcement, in which case a strike is more a matter of economic coercion than justice for the workers.

Re:Naked capitalism at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45226893)

Strikes don't require strong-arm enforcement because strikes require an affirmative vote by the union members. The reason why you need centralization in the form of a union is because you want to make sure that most of the members are committed to the strike. Union membership alone solves the defector problem.

So it's not defectors you need to worry about, it's non-union members filling the labor gap during the strike. This is why government unions have it easier... government employees can't be fired as easily as private security employees because of the 4th Amendment (employment has a property right component when employed by the state, and requires rigorous due process). Which means if you hire stop-gap workers you'll be stuck with too many employees after the strike is over.

Also, skilled unions can strike easier, again because it's more difficult for employers to fill the labor gap.

A loooonnnggggg time ago there used to be something called the "closed-shop", where union contracts _required_ that employers only hire union members. But conservatives passed a law which banned that practice in the 1930s, although they prefer that most people remain ignorant about that, as most people still believe that closed-shops are still common.

Re:Naked capitalism at work (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 5 months ago | (#45227129)

But conservatives passed a law which banned that practice in the 1930s, although they prefer that most people remain ignorant about that, as most people still believe that closed-shops are still common.

Can you elaborate on that? My understanding is that there are still a lot of states without right-to-work laws. (Not trolling or arguing, just unsure what you're referring to.)

Re:Naked capitalism at work (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45227115)

Yes, and (a) is a good strike, one that helps workers, employers, and buyers to reach an equitable and efficient agreement. But (b) is not just "coercion", it is blackmail by a special interest group; it's little different from the mafia.

Re:Naked capitalism at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227545)

Do you assert that large groups of people have never worked in deplorable working conditions because they wanted food and shelter?

cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#45226729)

look at pizza where they pay low and don't really pay the costs of useing a car much less auto insurance that covers pizza drivers.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Texas-Family-Awarded-32M-in-Deadly-Dominos-Delivery-Crash-221784091.html [nbcdfw.com]

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45227145)

Seems to me that a $32M judgment against Domino's will provide a strong incentive to actually fix this. And if they don't and another accident happens, judges and juries will give even harsher sentences.

So what exactly is the problem?

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 5 months ago | (#45229093)

When someone has to die to address the problem, there's a problem. When you advocate a chain of deaths to fix the problem, that's a problem.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 5 months ago | (#45229777)

Oh, stop being such an disingenuous ass. I didn't "advocate a chain of deaths" to fix anything. People will die no matter what; the question is how we can minimize deaths. You seem to live in a dream world where inspections and fines prevent deaths, but companies laugh at them. They'll pay the silly little fines and go on doing whatever is cheapest. The threat of a $38M judgment, on the other hand, is quite a strong deterrent.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

Kurast (1662819) | about 5 months ago | (#45227399)

And I have yet to understand why pizzas are delivered in the US using cars, instead of motorcycles or bikes like the rest of the world.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 5 months ago | (#45227949)

Because delivery drivers use their personal vehicle, they usually only have one personal vehicle, and it's usually a car.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 5 months ago | (#45228095)

As a former pizza delivery driver, I can tell you that motorcycles or bikes just wouldn't work.
It's raining out? No pizza for you. Snowing, you also gotta come pick it up yourself. Really cold out? Really hot out? No delivery.
You'd like 6 large pies, 6 2L bottles of soda, and a couple order of wings and breadsticks? Sure, we'll bring it by in 3 deliveries.
Also, I can't imagine the additional airflow resulting from not being enclosed in a passenger compartment will do wonders to keep your pizza piping hot while it travels to your residence.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 5 months ago | (#45228105)

You'd like 6 large pies, 6 2L bottles of soda, and a couple order of wings and breadsticks? Sure, we'll bring it by in 3 deliveries.

Alternate solution: Sure, let me just put on my aviator goggles and scarf, then load up my sidecar here...

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (2)

coyote_oww (749758) | about 5 months ago | (#45228597)

As a motorcyclist -
Rain and cold are doable (for ever so slightly more money, for cold weather gear).
Snow is not, just not enough people with the equipment and skill to do it safely.
Large deliveries are doable, with mild modifications to the bike. My bike has a luggage mount that could be fitted with a cage that could hold 8-12 pies or so. You could fit 15lbs or so of stuff on the tail, and use a tank bag for transaction material. Most bikes could reasonably handle 150lbs of cargo, which is way more than you need for pizza delivery. If Domino's provided the bikes, it wouldn't be a big deal to fit them with a rack specially designed for pizza.

It would take a change in mind set on the part of Domino's. Realistically they'd have to provide the motorcycles. That is never going to happen for an entirely separate reason - you couldn't insure the operation. The extra insurance money would eat the fuel savings many times over. Also finding riders would be harder than finding drivers - although with reasonable benefits I'd seriously consider changing careers. Riding around all day beats sitting in a cube, hands down.

In CA, you'd probably get faster delivery too, due to lane sharing.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45228941)

Rain and cold are doable (for ever so slightly more money, for cold weather gear).

He wasn't referring to the rain being uncomfortable for him, he was referring to it wetting the cardboard and ruining the box, as well as the pizza. The cold wind rushing over the pizza would cool it rapidly, too.

Snow is not, just not enough people with the equipment and skill to do it safely.

Same basic problem as above.

If Domino's provided the bikes...

There's the problem with that one, as you've noted.

Also finding riders would be harder than finding drivers - although with reasonable benefits I'd seriously consider changing careers. Riding around all day beats sitting in a cube, hands down.

Are you aware that pizza delivery people are actually paid below the cost of running their vehicle? There was a study on it a few years ago, but I'm unable to find it. They just don't get enough to get by, even when you take into account how much they get paid per mile/kilometre when using their own vehicles, they actually end up out of pocket.

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 months ago | (#45229191)

Most pizza delivery motorcycles have a large enclosed box on the back that can hold a stack of pizzas. It's thick, insulated, plastic and so keeps them warm. You seem to be missing the grandparent's 'like the rest of the world' comment when you say that motorcycles 'just wouldn't work'. They do in a lot of places...

Re:cutting drivers pay can end up badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45229579)

And I have yet to understand why pizzas are delivered in the US using cars, instead of motorcycles or bikes like the rest of the world.

Because we prefer the subtle taste of processed cheese with charred flesh as our pizza China Syndromes its way out the back of our skulls.

someone please explain... (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#45227289)

...what the hell any of this is or means. What is Uber? What is it doing that's illegal? What is a sharing economy? Who's giving out free cab rides? I'm someone who lives in a 100,000 person city where you just call the damn cab company on the phone and they show up and 99.9% of cars on the road are not cabs.

Re:someone please explain... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227637)

I'm someone who lives in a 100,000 person city...

Your small town mind wouldn't grasp the awesomeness of Uber.

If you don't show up to your own strike... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45227569)

You tip the balance of power towards the group you were striking against.

Any labor organizer will tell you - people showing up is 90% of any labor movement. It shows management you mean business.

So, what ARE the rates we are talking about? (1)

jtara (133429) | about 5 months ago | (#45227649)

It's funny how none of this on either side mentions what the actual rates are.

Anybody know?

Re:So, what ARE the rates we are talking about? (1)

jtara (133429) | about 5 months ago | (#45227731)

As I understand it, these are all drivers/cars that are licensed to carry the public - either "black cars" (licensed livery drivers in licensed livery cars) or licensed taxi drivers driving licensed taxis. These can be fairly costly licenses to maintain, and so I have to assume these are full-time drivers.

Why is there a controversy over rates?

These drivers are using UberX to fill-in when they don't have any full-fare opportunities. They can take it or leave it, it's up to them.

I think there is some confusion with a third-tier of Uber service (not sure if rolled-out anywhere yet?) for ride-sharing amongst the public, in places where they can legally do that.

How do UberX rates compare to the rates these drivers would normally command?

Only cab consortiums! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#45227747)

The free market (a subset of freedom, and, as China is showing, possibly the single most important one, if measuring increasing lifespans is your primary metric, as all caring folk do) responds to inefficiencies.

Once again the difference between the concepts of freedom and democracy appears.

You regularly see politicians talk about the holiness of spreading democracy, and rarely of freedom, because freedom means freedom from them. "Democracy" is just the modern twist where they have an additional vote layer to jump thru before wielding power they shouldn't.

They would (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45229291)

Resort to force.

Here in Spain something similar happened.

The air traffic controllers had been negotiating some working conditions for a year, after such the government(state run ariports) essentially said "you get nothing and what are you going to do ,uh?".So the air controllers went on strike.

What follows is a massive propaganda campaign demonicing them and saying they are overpayed and basically cheating everyone else out of their tax money.

Ah, they also declared state of emergency, for the sacond time since 1975, and called the ARMY in to force the controllers back to work.Which they did,

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