Extensive investigations accuse Uber of brutal and illegal methods

The Uber platform said Sunday it would not apologize for its “past,” in response to an international probe by journalists that showed the company engaged in brutal practices and “broke the law,” despite restraint from politicians and taxis “.

“We have not and will not make excuses for past behavior that is clearly inconsistent with our current values,” said Jill Hazelbaker, Uber’s vice president of public affairs, in a statement.

The Guardian, a British daily, received and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) about 124,000 documents from 2013 to 2017, including emails and messages from then-Uber executives, as well as presentations, notes and invoices.

On Sunday, several daily newspapers (the Washington Post in the United States, Le Monde in France and others) published their first articles from these “Uber Files”.

They highlight certain methods used during these years of rapid expansion but also of confrontation for Uber from Paris to Johannesburg.

“The company has broken the law, deceived police and regulators, exploited violence against drivers and covertly influenced governments around the world,” the Guardian said in its introduction.

The articles notably mention messages from Travis Kalanick, then CEO of the San Francisco-based company, when executives worried about the risks to drivers Uber encouraged to attend a Paris demonstration.

“I think it’s worth it,” the co-founder told them. “Violence guarantees success”.

“Mr. Kalanick has never suggested that Uber uses violence at the expense of driver safety,” responded Devon Spurgeon, spokesman for the controversial former leader, in a press release issued by the ICIJ, in which he refutes all the allegations.

In June 2017, accused of promoting questionable and brutal managerial practices in the context of sexism and workplace harassment, Mr. Kalanick was forced to step down from his position as the group’s general manager.

When he announced his departure from the board in late 2019, he said he was “proud of everything Uber has accomplished.”

In its statement on Sunday, Uber recalled that before 2017, the media reported extensively on the company’s mistakes, from the press to books and a TV series.

“Uber is now one of the most important work platforms in the world and part of the daily life of more than 100 million people. We have moved from an era of confrontation to an era of collaboration,” explains Jill Hazelbaker.

Leave a Comment