Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Friday that the drivers he talks to understand the trade-off between traditional employee benefits and the increased freedom independent contractors enjoy.
“Baristas can’t walk in anytime they want, decide to only make lattes and not cappuccinos, leave during the morning rush (without permission from their boss), and return to work at another coffeeshop,” he wrote in a series of tweets, paraphrasing and sharing a link to a Medium post by Alison Stein, an economist at Uber, about the benefits of leaving the standard 9-5 behind.
A recent survey of California drivers showed that 88% began driving because they needed the increased flexibility of choosing where and when they work, according to the essay by Stein.
“As an employer @Uber’s incentive would be to control how many, how much & when drivers work—just like every other company,” Khosrowshahi wrote. “The forced choice is real: do we want drivers to keep flexibility & get new benefits or make some of them employees while putting the rest out of work?”
In his Aug. 10 opinion piece in the New York Times, Khosrowshahi said gig economy firms should be required to create benefits funds to give workers cash they can use for benefits they want, such as health insurance.