Uber’s acquisition of the popular Panda Express delivery service in Australia has raised the prospect of a labour disruption as the company tries to become a mass delivery company.
The deal has also put a significant dent in the earnings of Uber’s Australian workers, who are estimated to earn around $1,500 a week, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“The acquisition of Pandas Express means that we are going to be able to significantly reduce the number of drivers who will be delivering from our premises and that is going to reduce costs,” Uber Australia chief operating officer Peter Walsh told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Wednesday.
This means a big cost hit for Australian workers as we focus on our core business of helping drivers make money.
“But there is also a risk the deal could lead to a further job loss for workers in other parts of the world.
According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Panda Express workforce is likely to lose about 150 jobs in Australia over the next five years.
In 2016, Australia’s unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent, while in China it was 4.6 per cent.
Despite these concerns, Uber has said the deal will help the company meet its growth targets.
However, there are concerns that Uber may also have to change its business model if the deal goes ahead. “
We believe that the combination of this acquisition with the growth in volume in our US and Chinese markets will enable us to deliver significant revenue growth,” the company said.
However, there are concerns that Uber may also have to change its business model if the deal goes ahead.
If the deal is approved, Uber will not have to share revenue with drivers but instead will have to “share in the revenue generated by the vehicles that we deliver”.
The Australian Tax Office is also looking into the deal.
Uber will pay about $8.3 million in tax, while Panda Express drivers would pay about one-fifth of that amount.
Australia’s top tax agency, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), said in a statement that it was reviewing the transaction to determine whether it was in the public interest.
“[The ATO] will examine the terms of the deal to determine the public policy benefits it could provide to Australian workers,” the statement said.
“As part of that examination, the ATO is reviewing the business model of the proposed acquisition.”
The ATA also said it was “not aware of any specific tax considerations that would impact on Australian workers”.
This is just the latest in a series of scandals that have rocked Uber over the past few years.
In October, Uber faced criticism for its alleged treatment of workers in India, which the company has since moved to dismiss as an “isolated incident”.
In October this year, the US Justice Department said Uber’s use of software that allowed drivers to access and use customer data had resulted in “unlawful discrimination”.
Last year, Uber admitted it had overstepped its bounds with the Australian government’s mandatory arbitration clauses and has apologised to some workers.