NEW YORK – Uber on Tuesday admitted to underpaying the New York City drivers tens of millions of dollars for the past 2 1/2 years.
“We are committed to the pay of each director, each and every cent they are owed — plus interest — as quickly as possible,” Uber executive Rachel Holt said in a statement. “We are working hard to again, driver confidence, and that means transparent, sticking to the word, and make the Uber experience better end-to-end.”
The ride-hailing company said that every director involved would get a refund of about $900, which includes interest. Uber is not an exact figure on how many drivers in the city, but said it was in the tens of thousands.
The company said that it had mistakenly continued to calculate the commission on the basis of the gross rate, for any and all taxes and costs were deducted. The company will now calculate the commission based on the net rate, which is in line with its updated national director of policy in November 2014.
The union representing Uber drivers welcomed the announcement, but said the company owes its drivers more than it claims.
“Uber is, by the difference in the commission wrongly names of the drivers, reimburse the directors of the full load and the surcharge is they are owned back — a difference of almost 10 percent,” Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
“This payout is an effort by Uber to withdraw quickly to avoid court supervision and shortchange drivers in the process,” said Desai, whose organization has filed several lawsuits against the San Francisco-based company.
It is a tumultuous year for Uber, which has been hit with lawsuits, accusations of sexual harassment, a federal investigation into claims that it is a fake version of the app to thwart authorities and accusations of trade theft.
In February, a video surfaced of CEO Travis Kalanick had a fight with a Uber driver. It includes shouting and cursing and ends with a fight Kalanick dismissal of the excited driver claims that the sharp decline of the rates forced him into bankruptcy.
Kalanick later admitted that he needed leadership help.