As things currently stand, Uber drivers do not have much of a voice once they are “deactivated” from the service. Things are beginning to change, however, as Uber drivers can now appeal their suspensions, though there is plenty of fine print to read through, reports BBC News.
As a result of negotiations with the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) (a group that is not considered a union, so drivers cannot use it to bargain for improved pay and benefits), Uber now has an appeals process, but only in New York City. The process involves ex-drivers presenting their appeals in front of a panel of five Uber drivers picked by the IDG and Uber. The panel then decides whether to keep ex-drivers’ suspensions intact or reverse them, allowing them to resume ridesharing.
IDG founder Jim Conigliaro was understandably happy with the move, touting it as a “huge win” by the group.
“After months of negotiations,” wrote Conigliaro, “we finally won you the right to a fair deactivation appeal with Uber management.”
The idea sounds smooth and easy, but there are a few things to consider, the biggest being that the appeals process is only available for New York City drivers. Furthermore, any driver who was deactivated due to zero tolerance violations, such as criminal activity or physical or sexual altercations, is not eligible for appeal. Drivers with low passenger ratings will also not be eligible for appeal, though a training course might be offered to those who were deactivated due to “poor quality.”
Even with the fine print, the appeals process will be a boon for those who were barred from driving due to excessive cancellations or for passing up on too many rides. It is unknown whether the process will make its way to other cities or countries, though the possibility certainly exists.