A new start-up has launched in New York, aiming to take the ridesharing sector and turn it on its head – by offering full worker’s rights and shares for employees; in direct contrast to the negative press Uber has received.
Juno is taking on the status quo of the existing on-demand taxi app sector by offering fair pay, shares for staff, full employee status, and a 24hr support phoneline manned by real people for drivers.
CEO Talmon Marco believes that happier drivers result in better customer experiences, and that this support of employees (and, indeed, making them full employees in the first place) is the way things ‘should’ be done. “The [current sector] left unchecked is a sure way to slowly squeeze the little guy. I don’t claim to be a great socialist. I’m really not. But it’s a great way to take the bottom tier of the middle class and push it lower.” he said in an interview with press.
You may have heard Marco’s name before – he started call and text app Viber, and sold it on in 2014 for a whopping $900m! He then decided to focus on the ridesharing sector after some investigation. He explained that often whilst he found drivers were happy with their passengers, they had gripes with the companies whom they were driving for.
By way of example, he refers to Uber’s practice of ‘deactivating’ drivers in its system, rather than firing them, saying: “These are people! You do not deactivate people—you deactivate machines. When you say that you deactivate a person, I think that speaks volumes of the way that you actually think of these people.”
Juno seems to be off to a positive start. Drivers are offered full employment status if they work exclusively for the company, but there’s speculation that their customer base isn’t yet big enough to sustain them full time. Juno is currently in beta, so there’s still potential for them to grow further – watch this space!
What do you think of ridesharing companies employee terms – does it factor into you hailing a taxi with them? Or do you prefer liftsharing so there’s no confusion? Let us know in the comments below.
Author Lex Barber