Adrian Chen in the New Yorker describes one man, Fabio Krasniqi, and his attempt to organize Laguardia airport Uber drivers after Uber suddenly dropped fares by 15%.
Bits and pieces of the piece made me wonder: Technology giveth to Uber but technology can taketh away?
New York has an estimated thirty thousand Uber drivers, and a while ago Krasniqi and some other LaGuardia drivers started a group on the messaging app WhatsApp called the Drivers Report, where they trade information about traffic and the level of demand at the airport.
…Krasniqi designed a flyer on his smartphone and ordered twenty thousand copies at a print shop near the airport. The other drivers chipped in.
..Now, in Lot 7, Krasniqi was trying to keep the previous day’s momentum going. He stood over a picnic table, scrawling the name of a Facebook page he had created on a piece of poster board. It was called Uber Drivers Report. In the hoarse bark of a coach at halftime, Krasniqi urged his audience to like and share the page to get the word out about upcoming protests.
There is still much room for the traditional social network.
Eventually, Dorjee, Krasniqi, and about a dozen other drivers from Lot 7 formed an informal committee to plan a protest the following Monday. They represent the many ethnic groups that comprise the approximately seven hundred drivers who regularly work out of LaGuardia: “I said, ‘Listen, guys, in order for us to be powerful and to be strong and for the drivers to trust exactly what we’re saying, we have to leave the door open to all communities,’ ” Krasniqi said.
…Each member of the committee reached out to well-connected members of his or her own ethnic community.
Plus fascinating bits about different union locals competing to represent them.