Widespread investigation accuses Uber of cruel and even illegal methods in its inception


The Uber platform said on Sunday it would not make excuses for its “past” in response to an international investigation by reporters that showed the company used brutal practices and “violated the law” despite the reluctance of politicians and taxi companies Implement coercive measures.

Jill Hazelbaker, Uber’s vice president of public affairs, said in an online release: “We do not defend or excuse behavior that is inconsistent with our current values ​​as a company. “

“We’re asking the public to judge us on what we’ve done in the past five years and what we’ll do in the next few years,” she added.

The British daily The Guardian obtained and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) some 124,000 documents from 2013 to 2017, including emails and messages from Uber executives at the time, as well as presentations, notes and invoices.

The first articles from these “Uber files” were published on Sunday by multiple news organizations, including The Washington Post, Le Monde and the BBC.

They highlight some of the approaches taken during these years of rapid expansion and confrontation with Uber from Paris to Johannesburg.

“The company broke the law, defrauded police and regulators, exploited violence against drivers, and secretly lobbied governments around the world,” the Guardian said in its introduction.

The article specifically referred to a message from Travis Kalanick, the owner of the San Francisco-based company at the time, when executives were concerned about the risk of Uber encouraging drivers to participate in demonstrations in Paris.

“I think it’s worth it,” the co-founders told them. “Violence Guarantees Success”.

According to the Guardian, Uber has adopted a similar strategy in several European countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, etc.), mobilizing drivers and encouraging them to complain to the police when they experience violence, in order to use media coverage to Obtain concessions from the authorities.

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

“Today, Uber is one of the world’s largest platforms for work and an integral part of the daily lives of 100 million people. We have moved from an era of confrontation to an era of cooperation, showcasing partnerships including unions and taxis The willingness of former adversaries, including the company, to find common ground,” Jill Hazelbaker elaborated.

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