Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Following Croatian Uber Driver Strike, Arrears Paid Out, Bank Blamed

October the 20th, 2021 - Following the recent Croatian Uber driver strike which saw drivers across the country refer to themselves as ''digital slaves'' and voice their clear dissatisfaction, arrears have been paid out.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the union of digital platform workers assessed the recent Croatian Uber driver strike as having been successful, although they don't have the exact data on the number of drivers across the country who participated in it.

The strike was announced last Friday due to delays in payments to drivers from the company, and lasted from 07:00 to 10:00, without blocking the traffic, so as not to create a wrong perception.

Uber's management said that they fully respect the right of Croatian drivers to protest, and although they believe that this group doesn't represent the majority of the driver's partners, they say that they take do their complaints seriously. The bank was accused of delaying payments following the event.

“Last week, there were problems with the processing of payments at the local bank, which resulted in a delay in the payment of weekly earnings. We quickly took steps to resolve the issue and pay off any arrears, which was resolved (yesterday) morning.

As soon as we realised what was going on, we sent a message to all of our partner drivers whose payment is late, apologising for the inconvenience and explaining when they can expect their payments,'' they said from Uber.

“We're going to learn from this experience to continue to improve our processes. In terms of earnings in general, we remain committed to creating a sustainable business environment for our partners, so we've recently raised our prices for this purpose.

This increase doesn't make a significant difference for the users of the Uber application (app), while in the end our partners benefit the most, whose revenues are now higher,'' they concluded. 

For more, follow our business section.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Uber Drivers Strike in Croatia: ''We Feel Like Digital Slaves''

October 18, 2021 - As part of the Uber drivers strike in Croatia, a press conference was held. They claim: ‘‘We cannot get in touch with the company. We have not received an explanation as to why the money is late and when it will be paid. (...) We feel like digital slaves’’.

This morning, Uber drivers went on strike in Zagreb and its surroundings because their salaries were late, reports The salary that was supposed to sit last Tuesday was paid this morning, and Uber claimed over the weekend that the delay was due to an error in the local bank system. Nevertheless, the Uber team continued with the strike organized by the Croatian Digital Platform Workers' Union until 10 am this morning. At 10 am, the secretary of the Trade Union, Iva Filipović, addressed the media.

Filipovic said that they decided to promote an Uber driver strike because they estimated that an immediate response was needed. They appealed to Uber to show solidarity with them. "We are sorry that the application had to be blocked, but we are in such a relationship that we feel like digital slaves," she said in front of Uber's headquarters in Croatia.


Iva Filipović addressed the media this morning during the Uber drivers strike in Zagreb. (Photo: Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL)

She added that Uber constantly emphasizes that their drivers are partners, that they are socially aware and care about the community. “Then how can we not get in touch with them? We have not received an explanation of what is happening, why the money is late and when it will be paid," she said, adding that the money was paid today.

‘‘We can’t talk to any natural person’’

She said they continued the boycott until 10 a.m. to send a message to Uber. “Unfortunately, we can’t talk to any natural person from Uber,” she said, adding that this can happen with any other digital platform, not just Uber. She also said that drivers in Zagreb can, at best, meet with a student who can solve some basic problems in the application. "Drivers from the rest of Croatia can only get an appointment online," she added.

“I’m sorry because no one from Uber showed up, we were hoping someone from the authorities would come out and explain to us what was going on,” she said, saying that says enough about Uber’s claim that their drivers are actually partners. When asked by reporters, she said that the boycott was felt and that users waited twice as long for the ride as well as that the rides were twice as expensive. "It's hard to say, but experience shows that a large number of drivers who would otherwise be on the road were not there today," she said.

Journalists at the Uber drivers strike also asked her how many drivers Uber has in Croatia, to which she replied that only Uber can answer. She also said that they are a new union whose membership is growing, although they are aware that people in Croatia are afraid of union association. She added, however, that some problems like this with salaries can only be solved if they work together.

‘‘If Uber doesn’t pay me, I can’t pay the benefits’’

She also explained that the problem is that she is, for example, as far as the state is concerned, a self-employed person to whom Uber is a partner. “If Uber doesn’t pay me, I can’t pay the benefits to the state I owe,” she said. She said it was important to regulate the area to get workers ’rights.

She also told reporters that they want to solve the problem with Uber through dialogue, adding that roadblocks are not an option as part of the Uber drivers strike. She assures that they do not want to make it difficult for citizens to move. In the end, she added that tomorrow is the day for the payment of funds and that she hopes that there will be no delays.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

2,000 Drivers to Join Uber Strike in Croatia

October 15, 2021 - An Uber strike in Croatia will begin on Sunday due to payment delays to drivers. Some 2,000 drivers should take to the streets.

About 2,000 Uber drivers in Zagreb and the surrounding area will go on strike from Sunday and are checking out of the popular mobile app until further notice. Iva Filipović, secretary of SRDP (Union of Digital Platform Workers), confirmed this to Večernji List on Friday.

The reason for the strike is the delay in driver payment from Uber, which happens more and more frequently. However, the drivers lost patience this week, and the details were revealed to Večernji List by Filipović, who also has her own business, is registered for the application as a driver and in that sense represents Uber's partner.

"Uber usually pays its drivers every Tuesday for the work done last week. No driver in Croatia had money in their account on Tuesday, so we expected it to be on Friday since there was such a bang the previous few times when payments were late. This has started to happen more and more often. We need to feed our families, aggregators and Uber partners can’t pay their employees' salaries. So it’s a chain reaction that entails a number of negative consequences. Drivers have been accustomed to weekly payments for years and so adjust their a life and work that is hard and risky," says Filipović for Večernji List, adding that the driver's anger is caused by the lack of any human communication.

"Uber’s policy is to brag about social sensitivity and call its drivers partners. However, we feel like digital slaves who don’t really even know who they work for. There is simply no way to talk to a competent person. We don't know who these people are. The only possibility of communication is through the application, and we all receive an automated response from the customer service," claims Filipović.

He says that the strike will definitely take place, regardless of whether the money will be paid to drivers that day.

"It is very important to send a message. That's what we want. For now, we only know that the headquarters of Uber in Croatia is on Radnička Street in Zagreb. More than 2,000 drivers are active in the wider Zagreb area. The vast majority of them will turn off the application, and an arrival to Radnička Street has been organized, from which we will not leave until a competent person comes out of the administrative building to talk to us. We want to know what is going on, we want a humane approach. We are not robots," Filipovic told Vecernji List, adding that the exact number of drivers outside Zagreb who will join the strike will be known on Sunday.

Večernji List sent an inquiry to the Croatian branch of Uber.

“Our partner-drivers are aware of the situation of payment delays due to an error in the local bank system. Once again we apologize for the technical problem, the earnings will be visible to drivers in their bank accounts no later than Monday. We are completely committed to our community of drivers and we are working to resolve this situation as soon as possible," Uber told Vecernji List.

For more news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.  

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tourists Chose Uber for Advent Events, Croats Used it for Holiday Shopping

Uber is getting more popular for Advent tours and was chosen by 30 percent more users than the year before.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Uber to Involve Bernays Students in Research Projects

January 14, 2019 - Uber will allow the students from Bernays to cooperate with them on research projects linking tourism, urbanism and mobility and aimed at building a system on a global level

Edward Bernays University College and Uber, the largest global mobility company, have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of developing and building an ecosystem of mobility and traffic in tourism on both local and global levels. The partnership was signed by Damir Jugo, PhD, dean of Bernays and Uber General Manager for South-East Europe, Davor Tremac.

The cooperation between Bernays and Uber highlights the use of advanced technological solutions to meet the needs of tourists via sharing economy as well as their relevance for tourism-related and wider communities. The special benefit of this cooperation between the academic community and the top high-tech company is that Bernays students will participate in research on the links between tourism, urbanism and mobility in order to improve the competitiveness of the Croatian economy.

“Following our partnership with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, this partnership with Bernays will build upon Uber’s cooperation with educational institutions, with which we wish to further promote the development of technological innovations and give young intellectuals the chance to work on projects of considerable importance for the entire society,” said Davor Tremac, Uber General Manager for South-East Europe.

Furthermore, the students at Bernays can expect to see guest lecturers from Uber, who will tell them firsthand what it means to work for such a company. Uber is also one of the partners at an upcoming student competition, where one of the participants will win a scholarship for Bernays and an Uber voucher worth HRK 200 over a period of one year.

"The fact that Uber joined the growing network of our partner institutions is an important event because it has opened the doors of a global company to Bernays students and allowed them to learn about the business and communication models used by a global leader in the digital economy. This partnership of the business community with our students is extremely important to us, not only because of the potential employment opportunities but also because of the knowledge transfer", said Damir Jugo, Dean of Bernays.

As a global and innovative tech company, Uber relies on its services to contribute to the development of the society and Croatia’s tourism promotion. This summer alone, Uber services on the Croatian coast were used by 170,000 tourists. As many as 94 percent of them were Uber users in their countries of origin, which shows that foreign tourists who visit Croatia throughout the year expect to see Uber as part of our tourist offer. Finally, Uber is continually working on improving mobility and the way people move in cities, at the same time primarily thinking of user safety, which is why only recently Uber introduced a number of new in-app safety features that have doubled the safety of both users and partner drivers.

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Successful Cooperation between Uber and Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences Continues

Uber awards scholarships to students of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences.

Monday, 26 November 2018

New at Uber: UberX and UberSELECT to be Combined

All Uber users will receive better-quality service as uberX and UberSELECT will be combined. 

Friday, 9 November 2018

How Uber is Impacting Lives in Croatia: Vesna Mačković

November 9, 2018 - Uber took me on artistic adventures around the world and now we are bringing art to everyone who has been isolated from it.

Vesna Mačković, a multidisciplinary artist from Sisak, founded ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, an organization where older people, children, people with disabilities, immigrants can be creative

ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future emerged from anger and defiance. Art is something that I really want to do, that I know I can do and that I have the people with whom I can do it well, but we lack the finances necessary to include more people in what we do and to further develop. I’ve realized that if I want more, I have to stop relying on the state budget, and that it is not OK to expect my works to be fully funded with the tax payers’ money. That's why we are now looking for support from the corporate sector, and the first company to respond was Uber, Vesna Mačković, a multidisciplinary artist from Sisak and one of the founders of ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, explains.

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She receives financial support from the Ministry of Culture and the cities of Zagreb and Sisak for her artistic work; but it simply is not enough for her to realize all her ideas.

That’s why she founded ARKTIK – The Institute for the Future, an organization focused on the society and various globally and locally relevant issues that will integrate people from different walks of life affected by these issues into its work. Essentially, Vesna’s idea is to have children, old people, minorities, people with disabilities, immigrants and anyone else participate in performances.

Considering she has difficulty moving due to her problems with bones, in all her artistic adventures Vesna had a faithful companion in Uber. The company decided to support her as a partner in the work of the Institute for the Future as well. In the coming period Uber is going to allow the organization's members access to its services.

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Vesna loved art since an early age, but life took her in different direction. She had her own company producing multimedia as well as her own finance-related web portal. In fact, everything was fine until the 2008 financial crisis, when all her projects closed down overnight. Though it hit her hard, this breakdown brought her back to her first love - art.

Nowadays, she is into writing, dancing, directing, acting, and experimenting with sound and radiophony.

Vesna performed all over the world and was given free rein and full artistic freedom. Her plays Intenziteti (Intensities) and Pod staklenim zvonom (Under a Glass Bell), video performance Pozdrav (Salute) and many other works have led her to an artist-in-residence program by the great Robert Wilson. He chose Vesna among 800 candidates and built her a five-meter high replica of the Sisak Ironworks– in the middle of Long Island – so she could perform Salute that she had originally filmed with our award-winning video artist Ana Opalić at the Sisak Ironworks.

She performed in Moscow, Kazakhstan, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Saint Petersburg. And she always used Uber.

- I have used Uber from the first day it came to Croatia. Unfortunately, the transport in Zagreb is inadequate for many people with disabilities who are likewise 100-percent disabled. Uber offered acceptable prices, which was a great help financially. It was also the first to launch an app where users can see where their driver was or how to contact them. I find it very difficult to stand for a long time, but with this app I know exactly how long I can sit at home until the driver approaches, Vesna says, adding the she uses Uber in every country she visits. The app is the same all over the world, and it allows her not to have to worry about paying in foreign currencies, or fret over not knowing the local language.

- The drivers have always been very kind to us and would gladly stop for us wherever we wanted it. When you are in Brazil, you don’t want to just speed down the highway. Also, we Croatians are quite exotic to them. They don’t speak Croatian, of course, but when you tell them you’re from Croatia, they always mention Luka Modrić. They also find it interesting that someone would come to their country for theater, says Vesna laughing, and adds that she has never had any problems with Uber drivers in any of the countries that she has visited so far.

- They are always ready to hold my bag or help me out of the car. They are kind and discrete. Wherever I go, I order Uber, says Vesna.

Uber’s support for ARKTIK is extremely important to her because, as an artist, it is important to her to follow all the different types of art and the work of her fellow artists.

- Thanks to Uber, we will be able to quite conveniently follow art events in Zagreb and maybe even farther away. We will no longer have to worry about going to see a play for which we will have to pay both the ticket and our ride to and from the theater. This is a huge financial boost for us. The corporate sector in Croatia isn’t even aware that, apart from investing in football, it is also good to invest in arts and culture. Uber is such a sparkly, positive example and I really hope others will follow it, adds Vesna. She is aware that people are usually skeptical about joining organizations that are turning a new page; however, she is not scared of failing.

- I have nothing to lose. I can always go back, she concludes.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Uber Launches New Safety Features for Passengers and Drivers in 23 European Countries Including Croatia

New in-app safety center allows riders and drivers to easily share their trip details and contact emergency assistance, and warns drivers about speed limits.

Safety features increase security of the data communicated between riders and drivers so no phone numbers are visible on either side.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

47% Growth: Uber Used by 170,000 Tourists on Croatia's Adriatic Coast This Summer

September 13, 2018 - It has been another successful summer on the Adriatic coast for Uber, whose services continue to expand. A little more detail on who is using the Uber and UberBOAT application in an official press release. 

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