Video Shows Uber Employee Shooting Footage of San Francisco Driver Protest

February 3, 2016, 9:24 PM UTC
Uber drivers protest against working conditions outside the company's office in Santa Monica
George, 35, protests with other commercial drivers with the app-based, ride-sharing company Uber against working conditions outside the company's office in Santa Monica, California June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT TRANSPORT CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3VKJ9
Photograph by Lucy Nicholson — Reuters

Following an Uber driver protest in San Francisco on Monday, a video showing an Uber employee shooting video or photos of their cars’ license plates surfaced online.

Drivers gathered in San Francisco on Monday following a round of price cuts last month they say have left them unable to earn enough money to make ends meet. In the video, the cameraman asked the Uber employee why he was taking pictures of the cars’ license plates and whether it was because the company plans to deactivate drivers taking part in the protest.

“Uber employees are sometimes the victims of abuse, including sadly death threats,”an Uber spokeswoman told Fortune, adding that “to keep our employees safe we carefully watch what’s happening online, at our offices and partner support centers—including during protests.” The footage was shot with the intention of turning it over to the security team.

Uber also insists that the company doesn’t, and won’t, take action against drivers who protest. “Uber respects our partners’ first amendment rights,” the company said.


Being deactivated from Uber, and thus losing their job, is a particularly scary consequence many drivers fear. Back in November, San Francisco Uber driver Eric Barajas found himself mysteriously unable to receive any ride requests after he publicly voiced concerns over low wages during a question-and-answer session with Uber executive David Plouffe at a tech conference. A spokeswoman pointed to a tweet from Uber’s support team that Barajas was accidentally logged into the lunch delivery service, which isn’t active outside of certain hours.


“One of his cars was removed from Uber in October due to a document issue, as Uber only allows vehicles with up to date insurance and registration on file to accept rides. We make every attempt to contact drivers in those situations so they can provide correct documentation, as we have done and will continue to do with Mr. Barajas,” Uber said about the incident at the time.
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