New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit – Since we started Moves just over two years ago we’ve spoken to gig workers across the country that earn a living on apps like Uber and Doordash during countless rides, airport parking lot visits, and food deliveries. Nobody’s story of why they earn a living this way is the same. We heard from Erzen in New York who’s walking Dashdoor orders while fulfilling his dream to be a DJ or Ashleigh from Denver, a veteran who can’t get the same flexibility from a traditional job in order to go to medical appointments multiple times a week.
What is similar though is the challenges you face. As an independent gig worker, the benefit of flexibility is paramount. But it has trade-offs, namely being independent. Being alone when it comes to navigating a financial system that penalises your way of living, accessing benefits, or affording a sick day. All these challenges you face alone, as one gig worker trying to get by while trying to get massive banks or gig companies to listen to you.
I know that’s not enough – it doesn’t change anything tomorrow but we’re listening to your stories and by bringing your voices together we’re taking your message to the top.
We’re doing this in two ways
1. By making you shareholders
A few months ago we launched the Moves Collective. As you bank with Moves you’ll start earning shares* in the companies you earn on like Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Grubhub, Amazon, and Target. Only a few hundred members have been invited so far, but over the coming weeks, we’ll be opening the gates for tens of thousands of current and future Moves members to start becoming owners in the future of the gig economy. As a shareholder, not only do you share in the value of the company, but you also have a voice in its direction. Each year you can vote on board members, executive compensation, and proposals. Our goal at Moves is to make millions of gig workers owners in the companies they earn on and ultimately have a say in their direction.
2. By taking your message to shareholders
At Moves, our company also owns shares in the same companies you do. We’ve built a large enough amount of shares that we can submit proposals for shareholder votes. This is a powerful tool for change. In January, after months of interviews and calls with our members, we submitted a proposal to Uber to add a director to their Board of Directors that has first-hand experience earning income in the gig economy. We heard from you there was a lack of empathy, understanding, and respect for the unique challenges you face each day and we believe that having that experience first-hand on the Board of Directors would lead to better decision making that considers your unique needs and impact. Proposals like this, if added to the Annual General Meeting are voted on by shareholders – of which right now, hundreds of gig workers are becoming each week through the Moves Collective.
“We believe there are three stakeholders in the gig economy: the company (Uber and stockholders), the consumer (customers), and the worker (drivers). We believe Uber has given the company and the consumers undue priority, with the needs of drivers left unaddressed”
-Excerpt from shareholder proposal
Over the course of February and March, we talked with Uber to discuss our proposal and hear their perspective. We spoke directly with members of their executive team and shared your stories and how better representation at the board could help elevate your voice in key decisions. Uber listened and proposed two strategies to build more awareness of the unique challenges faced by gig workers earning income on multiple apps.
1. In annual Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting – research will be conducted and reported on to highlight the well-being of multi-app gig workers
2. In periodic Board of Directors meetings, there will be a dedicated agenda item to report on and discuss earner experience and voice
We are pleased Uber proposed these strategies to increase awareness of the unique challenges facing gig workers at the highest level of the organization. With this new awareness and commitment, we decided to withdraw the proposal and move forward by collaborating with Uber on their strategies. We’ll be closely monitoring the introduction of the new reporting and plan to hold Uber accountable.
You can read the full proposal here.
This is just the beginning of how we believe real change can be achieved by helping millions of gig workers become owners and have a seat at the table. It’s going to take time, and I hope this recent victory sparks excitement about what we can do together over the coming years. I want you to know that we’re listening and ready to bring forward your voices to the top of each company that we are all owners of.
If you haven’t already, download Moves, make your first deposit into your account, and start owning the gig economy with tens of thousands of other gig workers.