According to documents revealed by the British newspaper The Guardian, Uber has expanded in many cities around the world by breaking the law, defrauding the police, using violence against drivers and secretly lobbying governments.
Newspaper “The Guardian” revealed 124 thousand. The leaked documents – known as the Uber files – From 2013-17. This happened at a time when the company was headed by its co-founder Travis Kalanick. These documents, as The Guardian calls it, show the ethically questionable practices of its administration. Among the released documents, among others, are 83,000 emails, iMessages and messages sent via Whatsapp that show frequent sloppy communications between Kalanick and Uber’s senior management.
In one such letter, Kalanick Other executives dismissed fears that sending Uber drivers to a protest in France risked violence from angry taxi industry protesters.. “I think it’s worth it. Violence is a guarantee of victory,” he wrote back.
The news reports Uber’s executives are under no illusions that the company is breaking the law. In one of them, a manager jokes that they’ve become “pirates,” while another admits, “We’re just thugs … outlaws.”
They show how Uber tried to strengthen its position by lobbying politicians, businessmen and the media. Among the leaked documents are communications between Kalanicki and current French President Emmanuel MacronHe secretly helped a company in France when he was economy minister, allowing Uber frequent and direct access to him and his associates. As The Guardian wrote, Macron appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to help Uber, telling the company he had made a secret “deal” with its opponents in the French cabinet.
But privately, Uber executives have made no secret of their disdain for government officials who are less open to the company’s business model. Current German chancellor Olaf Scholz, then mayor of Hamburg, rejected Uber’s lobbying that the company pay drivers a minimum wage, with one executive telling colleagues that Scholz was a “real comedian.”
When then-US Vice President Joe Biden, a proponent of Uber’s business model, was late to meet with the company at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Kalanick texted a colleague: “I told my people to let him know every minute he’s late. He’d be with me a minute less.”
As “The Guardian” describes, Now valued at $43 billion, Uber makes 19 million trips a day, undermining long-established taxi markets in many countries and putting pressure on governments.Change the law and pave the way for an application-based model of contractual agreements. One of the documents shows that the company was trying to quell violent protests against the company and get the desired changes in taxi and labor laws. Uber plans to spend $90 million on lobbying and public relations in 2016. The strategy often involves bypassing city mayors and transit officials and lobbying governments directly.
The Guardian conducted a global investigation into the leaked files on Uber, sharing the data with the editorial offices of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
In a statement released in response to the leak, Uber acknowledged “mistakes and wrongdoing” but said the company had changed hands since 2017 under the leadership of current boss Tara Khosrowshahi. “We do not and will not make excuses for past behavior that is clearly inconsistent with our current values. Rather, we ask the public to judge us by what we have done in the past five years and what we will do in the coming years,” the company said.
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