BRASILIA AND SÃO PAULO – THE readjustment of drivers’ earnings announced by Uber and 99 companies was insufficient, according to them, to offset the recent rise in fuel prices and with vehicle maintenance. The movement of platforms came after reports of partners leaving the profession or denying races to avoid losing.
O state talked to app drivers, and the assessment is that the change was timid and that the gains were consumed by the inflation. Fuel alone increased by more than 50% in the year. The readjustment of companies in transfers to drivers was up to 35%, being 10% in some regions. The report sent questions from drivers to the Uber and to 99, but the companies did not respond directly to the questions, emphasizing only the adjustments granted.
For Tarcisio de Oliveira, 42 years old, the amount transferred to drivers should rise between 30% and 35% to recover costs. He has been working with one of the platforms for a year. “I think not (the 15% readjustment of Uber in Brasilia), but it has improved”, says the driver, who calculates a gain of R$50 more, with the readjustment, for every 500 km driven.
In the business for three years, João Paulo da Silva, aged 26, calculates that the profit margin for drivers has been reduced by up to 40% in the last year. With the rise in costs, Silva changed his way of working. He started to prefer races on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends, when the demand for drivers is higher. In their accounts, the occupation no longer paid off on weekdays and on shorter trips. For Silva, the readjustment announced by the companies will not change the scenario. “Those passengers who keep trying to take these short trips will continue to suffer in the same way. Definitely not (it will be enough to bring people back). Those who left the application found something better.”
The assessment is reinforced by the President of the Union of Autonomous Drivers for Applications of the Federal District, Marcelo Chaves. “The readjustment was so minimal, at least in the Federal District, which the driver didn’t even feel in his pocket. It didn’t solve a lot of things, no”, he says.
Drivers who work for Uber and 99 in Greater São Paulo point out that the readjustment percentage announced by the companies is not fixed nor is it valid for all races. “They announce these readjustments of ‘up’ so much, that is, it may not reach the maximum value. And it is not valid for all races, this adjustment will depend on the time, place, type of race, passenger, in short, on numerous factors for the driver to receive this adjustment”, he explains Eduardo Lima de Souza, president of the São Paulo Application Drivers Association (Amasp).
“This year alone, fuel has increased by more than 50%. So, this readjustment is still out of date, the driver is still losing out”, adds Souza. “Any and any readjustment or increase for a category is always welcome, but this one in question is insufficient”, he says.
For Souza, the partnerships with gas stations signed by the apps do not help either – Uber has signed a partnership that involves cashback for drivers with the Ipiranga gas station, while 99 joined the network shell. “These partnerships are with the brands that have the most expensive fuel. It is possible to find banners with the value of cheaper gasoline”, he says.
Rosemar Pereira, 48 years old, who works as a driver for the two applications, said the announced adjustments are “bullshit”. “If you’re going to raise, give an equal raise in every race, a fixed raise, a real raise. We need a decent rate, so that we can work calmly and cover our expenses”, he says.
Another complaint from drivers who work in São Paulo is the decrease of the dynamic rate. The dynamic rate is a way that applications find to compensate for the high demand of races on a given occasion, increasing the rate charged to passengers. Drivers, however, report that the fees are not as high as they used to be, or it simply no longer exists.
“I study a lot the times when I can have more earnings. I work more at times when other drivers are not working, precisely because of the dynamic fare. But it just disappears, or else it doesn’t appear as tall as it used to be. It dropped the values of the dynamic tariff a lot”, reports Ana Paula.
Eduardo Lima de Souza, from Amasp, states that there are many reports from drivers regarding the dynamic fare. According to him, there is a suspicion of drivers that the drop in dynamic fare values offset the new adjustments announced by the applications recently.
When contacted, Uber stated that, “with the constant increase in fuels”, it has “intensified its efforts to help partner drivers reduce their costs, with partnerships that offer discounts on fuel, for example, as well as having carried out a review and readjustment the earnings of partner drivers in several cities”.
99 said that the new values take into account “the negative impact of the increase in fuels on the category, considering the maintenance of the platform’s balance”. “The goal is to continue offering a source of income for partner drivers and a financially viable, safe and efficient means of transport for the population.”