Documentary photography and writing
Driving us into poverty
A documentary on the experience and struggle of Uber drivers in the UK.
Created and edited with Valeria Bevilacqua.
Driving us into poverty - a documentary on the experience of Uber drivers in London
Realized as a part of London in Motion workshop, promoted by the London International Documentary Film Festival, Driving us into poverty explores the relationship between migration, labour, mobility and the London cityscape.
We investigated how mini cab drivers “drive” their precarious lives, while at the same time struggling to negotiate their existence and for the recognition of their workers’ rights.
Most of us experience Uber as customers, and in fact Uber was conceived as a customer-based platform, ranking 1st among the transport companies worldwide – with a global market value of 72 billion dollars.
Yet, we demanded ourselves: “at what cost does this come? And who is really paying the price?”
Statistics show that the average Uber driver earns $364 per month.By following the story of Onupom, an Uber driver in London, we explored how flexibility becomes a double-edged sword for workers in the gig economy.
On the one hand they are attracted by the promise of being “their own boss” and Uber partners, but reality soon kicks in in the realization that Uber has a disproportionate power over them, that manifests in many ways, among which “unfair deactivations”.
In this regard, a landmark victory was achieved by United Private Hire Drivers’ funders James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in the case against Uber for the recognition as Uber drivers as workers rather than self-employed.
Many Uber and minicab drivers in London are joining the union which is now struggling against TfL and London mayor policies considered discriminatory in that they disproportionally affect vulnerable workers.