Uber app to connect ‘gig’ workers with businesses

Uber is seeking to diversify its core business as its ride-hailing platform faces growing competition and comes under increasing scrutiny. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2019

Uber app to connect ‘gig’ workers with businesses

  • Link will help temporary staff and firms struggling to fill their rosters, firm says

BENGALURU: Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. has launched an app called Uber Works to connect temporary workers looking to work shifts with businesses trying to plug gaps in their rosters.

The app, made available only in Chicago for now, will show workers the available shifts in a certain area and help businesses that struggle to staff up during peak demand, and with missed shifts and high turnover.

“Uber Works has a business dashboard and we connect directly with businesses, including restaurants and others, to assist them with filling empty shifts,” a company spokesman said.

The move to diversify its core business comes at a time when Uber’s main ride-hailing operations face competition in Asia, while the US company is also facing scrutiny for classifying its drivers as independent contractors.

Last month, a driver with Uber sued the company after California legislators voted to help thousands of those workers become employees and enjoy associated benefits.

A new California law designed to limit the use of “gig” workers goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Uber reported a record $5.2 billion loss in the second quarter, with its results showing slowing revenue growth that raised questions about its ability to expand and fend off competition.

Uber said on Wednesday Uber Works will partner with staffing agencies such as TrueBlue Inc. — which employ, pay and handle worker benefits — and also connect directly with businesses.

Users of the app can get detailed information about shifts that they are interested in, including information about gross pay, work location and skills, or required attire, Uber said, adding that the app will enable time-tracking by allowing users to clock in and out, and log breaks.


World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

Updated 22 November 2019

World should back Vision 2030 strategy says global risk guru

  • Ian Bremmer: When I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society
  • Bremmer: They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue

BEIJING: The world should back Saudi Arabia’s transformation strategy under Vision 2030 despite the challenges the Kingdom has faced, according to Ian Bremmer, one of the leading political risk advisers in the world.

“When I see them moving toward Saudization, when I see how much more dynamic Riyadh is compared to two years ago, it’s really undeniable that they are actually trying to modernize society. I think that’s really important and we should all be rooting for that process to continue,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing.

He said that the ongoing reforms in the Kingdom were helping it rebuild its international reputation following criticism over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. “They are hosting the G20, and that could help to make them confident enough to push forward on a resolution to the Qatar issue.”

“It would be nice if there could be some reduction in the problem with Qatar, and some reintegration of the GCC, and there has been some progress toward that. The fact that we have a peace deal in south Yemen, that will make a difference too, and hopefully it will reduce some of the tension with Iran as a consequence,” he added.

Bremmer was speaking about climate change and other issues at the forum, at a session that acknowledged the difficulty of meeting targets to get rid of fossil fuels by the year 2050. He also talked about the looming “technology wars” between China and the US.