Uber? Should Taiwan allow Uber to operate?


#222

I have no reason to doubt your story, but it doesn’t prove anything. We all know the ask-two-people-in-the-same-department-get-two-different-answers phenomenon. It also happens in western countries. In Taiwan it’s filtered through the prism of 5000 years of Chinese culture (“Chinese walls” and all that).

You managed to get the problem fixed with one phone call – congratulations! It could have taken much longer.

Was that one person corrupt or just incompetent? The answer is blowing in the smoggy wind.

(Btw, I received a copy of my landlord’s ID without even asking, but I have no trouble imagining landlords who wouldn’t do that.)


#223

Most landlords won’t provide an ID and specifically ask you not to register for tax purposes. I’ve had about 9 landlords in Taiwan.
I like where I live (and need to live in the area) so I agreed even though I don’t like it.
I imagine if I I did submit for tax we would be turfed out once the contract reached its end.
It’s a huge gap but in this case the old adage applies ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’.


#224

Never said that happened. Just glad they are gone since they are not following Taiwan rules.


#225

I was just yanking your chain.

But my point still stands. They are taking a sledgehammer to a fly , and as mentioned previously it’s because uber is low hanging fruit and foreign, it’s not like they can do anything about it.
Sounds similar to how the laws here treat foreigners. Ermm I digress . Here is some long but eye opening reading. You can pollute the water in Taiwan as much as you want and get a slap on the wrist, but wait, it’s a Taiwanese firm. See below. $3million for seriously damaging the environment vs almost a billion nt in accumulated fines for uber and up to $25million nt in fines for the drivers.

"In December 2013 Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc. (ASE Inc.) was found to have illegally discharged highly acidic wastewater containing nickel into the Houjin River, damaging 1390 hectares of farmland as well as offshore fishing industries downstream. Their actions have caused great indignation among Taiwanese society. Citizen of the Earth, Taiwan, through the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT), was able to reveal to the world ASE’s incompetence. A joint statement signed by 50 international environmental NGOs in 18 countries condemned ASE’s dangerous and polluting behavior. (link is external) The NGOs appealed to Apple, Intel and other brands to take responsibility for the management of their supply chain and to ask ASE to undertake due diligence in corporate responsibility, environment protection and worker rights.

ASE has stated that this misconduct was a one-off event. In fact, according to the Environmental Protection Administration Pollution Management Database (link is external), the ASE Kaohsiung Plant violated the Water Pollution Control Act and other environmental regulations 29 times between March 2011 and December 2013.It has cost ASE a total of NT$113,889,562(≈US$3,457,312, with US$137,516 in fines and US$3,319,796 of illegal profit).It is clear therefore that ASE is a serial polluter of the Houjin River. What’s worse, even though ASE K7 was ordered to suspend operations on December 20, 2013, other ASE plants were still violating a number of environment regulations and by June of 2014 had already been given 19 violation notices. This demonstrates the existence of a serious problem with ASE’s environmental management. ASE attempted to curtail controversy by stating the misconduct was a one-off event to avoid undertaking corporate social responsibility of environmental protection, information disclosure and public participation.

Due to the fact that the current legislation in Taiwan is too lenient, ASE has only been fined NT$3,000,000 for the illegal wastewater discharge mentioned above. This fine neither meets the principle of proportionality nor provides an effective deterrent. We not only are pushing to change the law, but also invite all of the consumers and organizations that are concerned about pollution within the electronic industry to join our campaign."


#226

Actually it was what I thought too, but she checked with other people because I complained about it and they all confirmed it was a thing. The girl in Taipei gave me her name to name drop and said to call her they refused again. After that no problems
Yes it is definitely anecdotal.

Brianjones I know the landlords don’t like it but I move every year anyway so… :slight_smile: if I was going to stay over a year I likely wouldn’t . The landlord has not mentioned to me that I couldn’t do it, she owns many units in the same building and we do direct deposit in her account so I’m not sure how easy it is for them to evade tax.


#227

Tax authorities can check all your accounts very easily but generally they don’t seem to bother except for automated reporting for stock income (all my stocks are automatically reported it’s kind of scary), that kind of stuff. By the way the Jianbao folks also have a lot of power and there is some kind of shared system where they will chase people with alternative incomes for more health insurance premiums.

They certainly don’t actively chase landlords with tenants, I’m guessing the rationale (in Taiwanese minds) is they pay property tax so why should they pay tax on the rental income.

As most landlords only sign 1 year leases then like you said there’s little a tenant can do as once they piss off the landlord they’ll be gone within the year.


#228

The slap-on-the-wrist phenomenon is disappointing and even disturbing, yes. Now show me a foreign invested company with foreign directors* that did the same thing and received a higher penalty.

*(but still incorporated in Taiwan like “Yubo” is, to make the comparison fair)


#229

I think Dan2006 was saying that nobody really cares if you pollute, fiddle your taxes, cheat your employees, cause industrial accidents, or whatever … unless you do something that actually matters.

In this case, Uber’s crime was violating the unwritten rule which exists in most societies: “that’s not the way we do things here”. It’s just that most societies go through some well-documented stages that end in acceptance. I’m really very surprised to see Taiwan, of all places, dig their heels in over this.

No, I’m just reading between the lines (“you weren’t liable before, but hey presto, now you are!”) and noting that the numbers don’t stack up. There is also mention of ‘back taxes’ in various newspaper articles.

Business taxes in Taiwan are very reasonable, with most companies paying around 5-10% of gross, but the fact is that the government hit them up for about $100m. That amount of tax would imply an aggregate income of roughly $1B, or an average fare of NT$4000 per ride. Seems highly unlikely to me.


#230

The case with ASE is because of their massive financial power in what is the relative backwater of Kaohsiung. It’s just a symptom of the wider pollution and corruption issues here.
The problem is a lot of locals would rather the jobs and income than the risk of the factory shutting down or moving on. When the rest of society doesn’t give two fecks about them you can’t completely blame them (exhibit B is the mess that is Mailiao in Yunlin where parents even want their kids to move back to a school that is closer to the polluting refinery).

But again…doesn’t make Uber being allowed to avoid taxes by palming off its operations to fleets of ‘contractors’ something that we should accept.
You do that and half the companies in Taiwan will be at it by end of the year.
By and large Taiwan’s labour and health insurance system works now I don’t think it should be messed with. Businesses pay for a large wedge of these premiums. If they don’t pay who then pays for that??

Corporate taxes should be paid here and not somewhere else by some tax dodge…because well we want the money here to pay for social services and infrastructure don’t we!
In the case of Taiwan they can’t get away with any of this transfer pricing crap that goes on in the EU.


#231

Brian: many Taiwanese companies have offshore accounts. This is perfectly legal, even if you think it shouldn’t be. Phone any accountant and he’ll sort it out for you.

Some of them still keep two sets of books.


#232

Of course they have offshore accounts. I have an offshore account and Im not Uber.
The thing is they still pay tax in Taiwan. You have to believe me they will chase you down.
Not only the tax department but also the National health insurance guys.
Uber seemed to think the government would roll over eventually so played a high stakes game to try the force the issue. Not paying the accumulated taxes and fines whole calling the governnent stupid was needlessly provocative.
Meanwhile what were they actually investing in Taiwan? Wre they even creating jobs? Polluting companies in Taiwan can get away because they point out that yes they provide thousands of jobs and they pay taxes to the local and national government. They often have support of local workers.

Ubers business strategy is different. They are backed by billions of Wall Street venture capital. They don’t have time to hang around and they don’t really invest in local facilities as such, it’s all high risk, high growth, winner takes all or jump to next market for them. Keep the money offshore and pay no social contributions or taxes on it.

Their business strategy requires high market penetration and first mover advantage. After they garner most of the market they widen the margin by cutting the drivers income and also raising the pricing.

They did the same in countries all over the world. It doesn’t work very well in Asian countries though as is well known.
Asians don’t do losing face. Many other people want them to pay up into social coffers like me.

They lost billions in China doing the same thing. There are other companies around, Uber didn’t invent Apps and ride sharing.


#233

So you agree with the government’s (implied) assessment of Uber’s income at $1B, then?

Nobody in their right mind would go to court over Taiwan’s normal business taxes. They’re so low as to be unimportant. Uber pushed back because the government was taking the piss, ie., charging taxes higher than their actual income.

If you think my math is wrong, say so.


#234

I am following the governments assessment. Obviously it’s THEIR assessment which counts in the end. Uber made a very large amount of money from Taiwan income in the last four years and wouldn’t pay tax on it Year by year (using a technological slight of hand) nor would they pay their accumulated fine…all the whole insulting the government…what a stupid stupid strategy and probably due to the fact that they already had an internal timeline they were working against to have explosive growth with no taxation or else get out of the market.

Since when did publically arguing with the revenue department AND the government go well for anybody ever anywhere?


#235

So you are saying they don’t punish companies evenly? Yea true, so?


#236

I like Uber service and hope they can find a way to come back. Clean cars, no disgusting stench in the car, and traceable. When I think about all the tax cheats here…Taiwan needs to enforce the laws they have. It’s a known fact that a large number of landlords don’t pay tax on rental income. I’ve experienced it and was shocked when real estate agents asked me to sign two contracts - one for tax reporting and one for the contract. People here accept corruption.


#237

Here’s where your other quote came from:


Whih was based on this:

Which is from the same day as the China Post article. The Reuters and Mashable articles both cite unspecified Taiwanese media reports for the “estimate” of “up to” $200m, noting that the government has not revealed any figures. (Gotta love the scare quotes, eh Fin?)

Going back to China Post:

According to local media, ministry officials said Uber has registered as an information services company in Taiwan and operates a ride-hailing app service, but has failed to pay the 5 percent business tax required of local companies.

So, have they paid any tax in Taiwan at all? :idunno:

I suppose if they fight the tax bill in court, we will eventually know the details. (Let’s remember that the fines mentioned in other articles are for violating the Highway Act, not tax law. They’ve also been in trouble for advertising an illegal service, under the Fair Trading Act iirc.)

In this case, Uber’s crime was violating the unwritten rule which exists in most societies: “that’s not the way we do things here”. It’s just that most societies go through some well-documented stages that end in acceptance. I’m really very surprised to see Taiwan, of all places, dig their heels in over this.

  • Belgium: banned (but current status unclear)
  • Brazil: banned
  • Bulgaria: banned
  • China: banned and taken over
  • Croatia: unclear, apparently tolerated but illegal
  • Denmark: banned
  • Finland: being prosecuted
  • France: banned and managers arrested
  • Germany: banned, but apparently UberPop is now legal
  • Hong Kong: banned
  • Hungary: banned
  • India: banned
  • Italy: banned
  • Malaysia: banned
  • Netherlands: banned
  • New Zealand: banned
  • Poland: banned for the drivers (not the company)
  • Portugal: banned
  • Romania: banned
  • South Africa: banned (at least for the drivers)
  • South Korea: banned and Kalanick indicted
  • Spain: banned
  • Thailand: unclear (in some trouble)

But Taiwan totally needs to “get with the program”, eh? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Fine print: the above list is based on Wikipedia’s information, which of course is not reliable and is often out of date, but it gives us a general picture. Not all “bans” are bans of Uber per se. Some are indirect bans i.e. updating laws to make it clear that online taxi services are taxi services and therefore illegal unless they meet certain conditions that Uber doesn’t meet. Some bans are court or government decisions specifically against Uber.)

While we’re at it:

  • Australia: mostly legal (varies by state), with new regulations and in at least one state a $2 levy per ride to compensate traditional taxi drivers
  • Canada: various provinical and municipal governments are introducing new regulations to accommodate Uber
  • Norway: at least one driver has been tried and acquitted; traditional taxi drivers still claim Uber is illegal
  • Philippines: legal
  • UK: legal in London, but drivers are "workers"*
  • US: quite a mess, varying by state and sometimes by city; banned in Alaska and told not to come back until it recognizes drivers as employees

*Edit: English law makes a distinction between “workers” and “employees”. Both types are entitled to benefits that independent contractors are not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_contract_in_English_law


#238

“If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” :slight_smile:

Countries which think they’re civilised are often the most hidebound. Taiwan surprised me here because the culture is fairly pragmatic: if something works, they do it.

In other words, not actually illegal, but only illegal if foreigners do it :slight_smile:

Where on earth did this insistence on employment come from? Contracting for inherently variable services is a time-honoured tradition. It was the most usual method of working prior to the industrial revolution. All kinds of people work on contract. Fruit pickers. Engineers. Pilots. Truck drivers. Why are car owners not allowed to contract-out their services? It’s just stupid. Imagine someone who only wants to work at weekends; if he’s employed, then he becomes a part-time employee,which in most of the world doesn’t attract much in the way of perks anyway. Contracting makes more sense. He has more control over both his work and his finances.

This is the bit I find most interesting. Creating legislation to target one specific business operation is almost unprecedented in modern history. Anyone would think they were selling harvested baby organs or automatic weapons or something, so pinpoint-sharp is the focus of government attention upon them.

I proposed a hypothesis elsewhere that cars are ‘alive’, in the same sense that viruses are alive (ie., not very, but with a built-in need to survive, reproduce, and parasitize other organisms). The complete irrationality of Uber’s persecution, IMO, is evidence of this: services like Uber will reduce the need for privately-owned cars, interfering with the reproductive strategy of the car population. Cars must motivate their human hosts to reject this threat to their survival.

OK, I’ll take my tinfoil hat off now.


#239

TL/DR: Finley is wrong about Uber, almost right about cars. :slight_smile:

[quote=“finley, post:238, topic:154722, full:true”]
TBH this is why we’re all going around in circles here. Do they owe taxes or do they not? If so, why, and how is it that the tax office didn’t get around to chasing them for four years? If they really are a bunch of awful predatory criminals, why not spell it out instead of being really really coy? There can’t be any issues of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ since the government has apparently decided already that they’re guilty of, erm, something.[/quote]
Why is there not more information available about the tax problem? For one thing, privacy does exist in Taiwan.

For another thing, there is no evidence that Uber thinks the closure of this particular tax loophole, whatever it is/was, is improper. If you think back a few articles, Uber said it was willing to pay the 5% e-commerce tax.

The reason Uber gave for suspending operations in Taiwan is the Highway Act and the fines that go with it, not the tax issue. If it were an illegal money grab, or even a legal but nasty one, why wouldn’t Uber make a fuss about it?

Who knows? If they haven’t, the tax people have been sitting on their hands for an awful long time.

For all we know, maybe they did they caught year after year but paid the fine quietly without challenging it, and no-one saw fit to leak this vague rumor to the media until recently. For all we know, they may have very clever accountants. The point is that we don’t know about the tax part that Uber claims it doesn’t even care about, but we do know about the Highway Act part.

“If your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” :slight_smile:

Countries which think they’re civilised are often the most hidebound. Taiwan surprised me here because the culture is fairly pragmatic: if something works, they do it.

Ah, so asking people to follow the law is pure stubbornness, and not welcoming Uber is suicide. Got it. :slight_smile:

Where on earth did this insistence on employment come from? […] Contracting makes more sense. He has more control over both his work and his finances.

You don’t have control over anything if you can’t make ends meet. It’s not rocket science. It’s been understood for centuries.

For another angle, you can read my rant here:

The ILO puts it more eloquently here:

From the executive summary:

At the heart of the matter is the fact that the traditional paradigms […] are less often the norm. A growing grey area between dependent work and self-employment has made it increasingly difficult to establish whether or not an employment relationship exists, as in many situations the respective rights and obligations of the parties concerned are not clear. In certain other situations, attempts are made to disguise the employment relationship or to exploit the inadequacies and gaps that exist in the legal framework or in its interpretation or application. All too often, it is vulnerable workers who suffer most in such situations. […] in order to avoid a borderless expansion of the scope of employment, the labour courts initially adopted a rigorous and narrow approach. […] This approach, however, risked excluding from the scope of the employment relationship and relevant legal protection a wide range of work activities that in fact deserved such protection. […] And in countries with no “median” legal category between employment and self-employment, there is no protection – or at least no significant legal protection – for the self-employed, who are not covered by any legal structure. […] the legal framework governing the employment relationship is crucial to managing these changes.

Or, from another point of view, we should just let the right to work under reasonable conditions fall apart because the super-rich have our best interests at heart, :rainbow: :unicorn: :heart: :grinning: or they at least can’t quite manage to avoid creating an infinte supply of adequate new (non-job) jobs as a side effect of their awesomeness. :money_mouth:

Or, from still another point of view, we just need a universal basic income :rainbow: :moneybag: :grinning: :happyrunningaround: and then there will be no such thing as a vulnerable worker, so there will be no-one willing to work for crap conditions in support of the businesses of the super-rich :stuck_out_tongue: and therefore the world will end. :astonished: :fearful: :scream: :runaway:

Imagine someone who only wants to work at weekends; if he’s employed, then he becomes a part-time employee,which in most of the world doesn’t attract much in the way of perks anyway.

That may be true in some jurisdictions. In any jurisdiction that respects ILO opinions, the principle is very simple: part-time work is the same as full-time work, proportionally. You still get holiday pay, sick leave, etc. The difference, in your weekend example, is that sickness and holidays are irrelevant if they occur on weekdays. (The details vary, but the principle of proportionality remains.)

Some bans are court or government decisions specifically against Uber.)

This is the bit I find most interesting. Creating legislation to target one specific business operation is almost unprecedented in modern history. Anyone would think they were selling harvested baby organs or automatic weapons or something, so pinpoint-sharp is the focus of government attention upon them.

“Court or government decisions” means the relevant authority has looked at existing law to determine whether or not Uber complies.

Some jurisdictions have updated laws/regulations to include new technology, either favoring Uber-type businesses (mostly in North America and Australia, it seems) or not favoring them. Without this kind of update, it’s up to the relevant authority to decide. You can read the London example here:


It notes that Uber “resort[s] in its documentation to fictions, twisted language, and even brand new terminology, [which] merits, we think, a degree of scepticism.” It even says Uber “doth protest too much” about not being an employer. It notes the cognitive dissonance between what Uber says to its drivers privately and what it says to the public. It cites a California precedent that

resoundingly rejected the Company’s [Uber Technologies Inc., not the British and Dutch companies involved in the London case] assertion that it was a technology company and not in the business of providing transportation services.

Uber does not simply sell software; it sells rides. Uber is no more a “technology company” than Yellow Cab is a “technology company” because it uses CB radios to dispatch taxi cabs.

We respectfully agree.
[…]
The notion that Uber in London is a mosaic of 30,000 small businesses is to our minds faintly ridiculous. In each case, the ‘business’ consists of a man with a car seeking to make a living by driving it. [The lawyer] spoke of Uber assisting the drivers to “grow” their businesses, but no driver is in a position to do anything of the kind, unless growing his business simply means spending more hours at the wheel. […] drivers do not and cannot negotiate with passengers (except to agree to a reduction of the fare set by Uber). […]

Uber’s case is that the driver enters into a binding agreement with a person whose identity he does not know (and will never know) and who does not know and will never know his identity, to undertake a journey to a destination not known to him until the journey begins, by a route prescribed by a stranger to a contract (UBV) [that’s the Dutch company] from which he is not free to depart (at least not without risk), for a fee which (a) is set by the stranger, and (b) is not known by the passenger […] © is calculated by the stranger […] and (d) is paid to the stranger. […]

And then, in summary:

We base our assessment […] in particular on the following considerations.

(1) The contradiction [between Uber purporting] to be the drivers’ agent and [asserting] “sole and absolute discretion” to accept or decline bookings.

(2) The fact that Uber interviews and recruits drivers.

(3) The fact that Uber controls the key information […] and excludes the driver from it.

(4) The fact that Uber requires drivers to accept trips and/or not to cancel trips, and enforces the requirement […]

(5) The fact that Uber sets the (default) route and the driver departs from it at his peril.

(6) The fact that UBV [the Dutch co.] fixes the fare […]

(7) The fact that Uber imposes numerous conditions on drivers […] instructs drivers as to how to do their work, and, in numerous ways, controls them in the performance of their duties.

(8) The fact that Uber subjects drivers to […] a performance management/disciplinary procedure.

(9) The fact that Uber determines issues about rebates, sometimes without even involving the driver whose remuneration is liable to be affected.

(10) The guaranteed earnings schemes (albeit now discontinued).

(11) The fact that Uber accepts the risk of loss which, if the drivers were genuinely in business on their own account, would fall upon them.

(12) The fact that Uber handles complaints by passengers […]

(13) The fact that Uber reserves the power to amend the drivers’ terms unilaterally.
[…]
the agreement between the parties is to be located in the field of dependent work relationships; it is not a contract at arm’s length between two independent business undertakings. […] As is often the case, the problem stems at least in part from the unequal bargaining positions of the contracting parties […]

And very importantly:

none of our reasoning should be taken as doubting that [Uber] could have devised a business model not involving them employing drivers. We find only that the model which they chose fails to achieve that aim.

Some blunter comments were reported when the decision was announced.

As the ruling observes, the company and its highly-paid boosters do their best to cloak this relationship in the language of chummy marketing and hi-tech piety. They use the term “gig economy”, when what they mean is casualised labour. They claim to be “disrupters”, when what they’re really disrupting are our labour laws. And Uber still markets itself like a plucky underdog when it is now worth $62.5bn – more than Tesco and Barclays put together – and numbers among its public affairs and public relations people the former advisers to Ed Balls and Michael Howard. Pretending to be the future, it is really the past: a cab company that relies on its drivers being cheap and available. Except your local cab firm doesn’t have the lobbying muscle or the Westminster contacts.

"If you drive so much because you earn so little, if its bad for your health. I know people who drive 12 or 15 hours a day to make the money and don’t even make minimum wage, so this could make all the difference to them.

It must be pointed out that both Uber London Ltd and Uber Britannia Ltd have Private Hire Vehicle Operator’s Licences, unlike “Yubo” in Taiwan. (Both of the UK companies, together with Uber BV, were joint respondents in the case.) Yubo is only registered for

  • management consulting
  • information processing service
  • electronic information supply service
  • third party payment service
  • other industrial/commercial service
  • anything else that does not require permission (obviously not including transportation)

I proposed a hypothesis elsewhere that cars are ‘alive’, in the same sense that viruses are alive (ie., not very, but with a built-in need to survive, reproduce, and parasitize other organisms). The complete irrationality of Uber’s persecution, IMO, is evidence of this: services like Uber will reduce the need for privately-owned cars, interfering with the reproductive strategy of the car population. Cars must motivate their human hosts to reject this threat to their survival.

You are not alone. :alien: :wink:


#240

Does forumosa have a “monster post” award? :slight_smile:

Nice stuff you dug up there, but it seems to me we’re just disagreeing on points of philosophy now.

Well, most reputable companies pay their taxes. I was sticking to that particular issue because it was one Brian was getting particularly hung up about.

Fair enough. But aren’t the government now scrambling to revise that to allow companies to do what Uber was doing? Except it seems they don’t want Uber to do it.

I tend to agree with Brian’s assessment that Uber’s confrontational approach doesn’t do them any favours. While this sometimes works, they’re clearly losing more often than they win.

I think, if it had been me, I would have approached cities and governments first and asked them if they were interested in playing ball. There would have been those who were like, “hell yeah”, and others who would have told Uber up front to get lost; in which case the appropriate response would have been, well, no problem, plenty of other fish in the sea.

Uber does undeniably offer social benefits, and IMO they should have attempted to create a sense of competition for those benefits. It’s like that Tom Sawyer story where he gets the neighbour kids to paint the fence for him, innit.

You’re painting a scenario in which drivers have to either accept the terms as given, or starve. That’s not even close to accurate. Nobody is holding a gun to anybody’s head and forcing them to work for Uber. If they want to drive something - as an employee - they can go and drive a bus or a taxi. If they’re happy to do anything to pay the bills, well, there are plenty of other jobs around.

Contractors, broadly speaking, are paid higher than employees precisely because there are no attached benefits. If a contractor believes he isn’t getting enough compensation, then he can leave and sell his services to someone else. Simple.

Some very specific circumstances must exist for an ‘unequal relationship’ between employers and employees to arise. In most functioning societies with a free labour market, it’s pretty equitable. Labour laws often have exactly the reverse of the intended effect by placing onerous burdens on employers and creating an adversarial atmosphere.

Regarding the book you quoted, it sounds like the lawyers are tying themselves in knots over a fictional concept, in this case “employment”. Employment is nothing more than an contractual arrangement that has become standardized to the point where people think it’s a thing.

You’ll excuse me for feeling ill-disposed towards lawyers at the moment, since I’ve just had one telling me a bunch of transparent lies in the hope of inflating her fees.

Net result: employers are loath to take on part-time employees, because it’s just way too much ma fan.

I employ people and I try to treat them as human beings. I’m not interested in esoteric theories about power imbalance. It’s as equal as I can make it. If they help me out, I’ll help them out. If they fuck me around and treat me like an ATM, I want them off my premises. I don’t want the government telling me that the person who steals my stuff, walks around with a face like a burst boil, and thinks he deserves a salary just for turning up has more rights than I do just because he has a government-approved label on his head (‘employee’).

The lawyer’s summary made me laugh. I can just hear that summary being read out in a supercilious public-schoolboy accent.

There are fairly simple responses to most of their objections, m’lud, but it would be boring to list them out. It all comes down to this: if you don’t like driving for Uber then don’t drive for Uber. Freedom of contract is a wonderful thing, although I’m aware some jurisdictions don’t recognise it. Governments should not be fiddling around with this to “protect” people from themselves. Instead, they should be ensuring that everyone - including the fiscally incontinent, the stupid, and the lazy - have as many options as possible to provide a livelihood for themselves, thereby giving them the freedom to avoid exploitative contracts.

Genuinely surprised by the number of wackjobs out there who agree with me about cars :slight_smile:


#241

Right, right, employment isn’t a thing. You employ people, but you don’t employ them, because how can do you a thing that isn’t a thing? :stuck_out_tongue: We might as well say contracts aren’t a thing. Nothing is a thing. Nothing will come from nothing.

Go on living in your happy world where everyone has equal economic power, no-one is being exploited, it doesn’t matter if there are any jobs to speak of because jobs aren’t even a thing, and the new version of “freedom” (is that a thing?) is Dickensian working hours for less than minimum wage in support of foreign billionaires. :rainbow: :unicorn: :money_mouth: :rainbow: :smiley: :unicorn: :heart: :smile:

I think Brian was using “tax” (is that a thing?) in the broad sense. If we put aside corporate income tax and e-commerce tax, there’s still the requirement for the employer to deduct the employee’s income tax every month (better tell the government that’s not a thing…), and then there are still insurance premiums: jianbao, laobao, and jiubao. I suppose for a transportation company there’s more. We rarely hear about the rest like the “arrear wage payment fund” and all that, but the government claims those are also things. (Afaik Yubo has not been accused of being an employer, but if they don’t even want to follow transportation law, following labor law seems unlikely.)

I’m sad to hear of your lawyer troubles (which have nothing to do with me! :innocent:), but I have good news for you: under normal lawyer-client circumstances, she’s not your employee! :happyrunningaround: She’s just a mandatary. If you don’t like her, fire her! :wink:

I’m also sad to hear of your “burst boil” troubles. If the LSA applies, and you didn’t put more favorable terms in the contract, you just need an Art. 12 situation (and proof of it) to rid yourself of the puss-oozing mess. If it’s mere incompetence and can’t be fixed, prepare for Art. 11, 16 and 17. :rolling_eyes: But I guess you already know that, if your lawyer is worth the agony she puts you through.

I humbly thank you for the Monster Post nomination. :bowing: