UN Women backs out of Uber partnership over security concerns
The UN agency on women has pulled out of a partnership with Uber over concerns about the controversial app-based taxi firm's safety issues and pressure from trade unions, days after it announced a tie-up to create a million jobs for women.
United Nations: The UN agency on women has pulled out of a partnership with Uber over concerns about the controversial app-based taxi firm's safety issues and pressure from trade unions, days after it announced a tie-up to create a million jobs for women.
On International Women's Day on March 10, UN Women and Uber had announced a "partnership to work together around the world toward a shared vision of equality and women's empowerment."
Under the partnership, Uber planned to create 1 million jobs for women globally on the Uber platform by 2020.
The announcement was not welcomed by trade unions, with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) calling the partnership a "vision for precarious work."
Following the outcry over the partnership, UN Women's chief said that the agency will not partner with Uber.
"I want to assure that not only are we listening, we are aligned," UN Women's Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has said, referring to criticisms the group faced after the Uber announcement.
"And I also want to assure you that UN Women will not accept an offer to collaborate?on job creation with Uber,?so you can rest assured about that."
ITF also expressed alarm over the "proliferation" of reports of passenger assaults by Uber drivers, customer frustrations over surging prices; complaints of union busting; and questions around breaches of privacy for users and drivers.
"The global trade unions and civil society supporters of labour rights...Are deeply concerned by the partnership announced between UN Women and Uber...This concern is due to the fact that it is far from certain that Uber's promise to create 1 million jobs will actually promote gender equality and women's economic empowerment," the union had said in a statement.
Uber is facing severe backlash in many nations, including India, where it was banned in capital New Delhi following an alleged rape of a young women by the firm's driver.
The woman has filed a lawsuit against the company in California, arguing that Uber does not adequately screen its drivers and its "negligence and fraud" lead to her being sexually assaulted and humiliated.
ITF also said the creation of one million "precarious, informal jobs" will not contribute to women empowerment and "represents exactly the type of structural inequality within the labour market that the women's movement has been fighting for decades.
"Uber's practices are defined by an aggressive informalisation of an industry that was already deregulated three decades ago," it added.