Thanks to Ian for the topic.
Change is always controversial, whether it is to an old regulated industry, or to an old business model. Take Uber, for example.
Not everyone likes Uber, just think of Canada’s taxi industry, which is being forced into change. Here at home, the BC Provincial Gov’t is pondering what the inevitable re-regulation might look like. And Vancouver City Hall has placed a moratorium on Uber until such re-regulation is in place.
According to Ian Bailey in the Globe and Mail, Uber is not universally cooperative when they enter a market. This probably does not make too many friends, and points to some aspects of their business practices:
Brishen Rogers, an associate professor of law at Temple University in Philadelphia who has written on Uber, said on Sunday that the company’s position in relation to B.C. is atypical compared to its approach in the U.S. and Europe.
“The company’s standard procedure in the U.S. and Europe has been to drive first and ask questions later,” he said in an e-mail exchange.
He said the company has faced lawsuits in the United States, strikes by U.S. drivers and push back from taxi drivers and regulators in Europe that may be forcing it into a new maturity.
Erika Shaker writes at Rabble.ca with some stinging insight. She also compares press response to Uber’s “App-italism” with response to proposals for change made by Canada Post’s union (Canadian Union of Postal Workers – CUPW).
But let’s be clear: there is nothing unconventional or remotely innovative about corporations that rationalize exploitation — of a workforce, of political connections, of rules that exist to protect a minimum standard of rights, dignity and safety — to justify their continued pursuit of profit. After all, that’s what — left unchecked — they’ve pretty much always done.
Uber’s business model, for example, involves a precarious, low-paid, unprotected workforce; a cheeky disregard (read: utter lack of respect) for jurisdictional laws or regulations; and an almost unlimited desire for self-promotion through money and personal or political connections.
But when it comes to CUPW and their vision for Canada Post:
But why is it that when a publicly owned enterprise (or its workers) starts talking about “shaking up” an older business model, rather than being lauded for their innovative thinking, they are accused of overreaching or abandoning their mandate or of delaying the inevitable march towards the future (read: privatization)?
That’s exactly what happened when, earlier this month, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), in conjunction with the Leap Manifesto, released a comprehensive proposal for a green postal service, that re-envisions post offices as community hubs that encourage economic development.