Uber disregarded Swiss regulations, claims a whistleblower.


Uber “massively weakened” democracy in many nations, including Switzerland, by deciding to impose its gig-economy model first and apologize later, former lobbyist Mark MacGann told Tamedia newspapers on Saturday.

Between 2014 and 2016, MacGann served as Uber’s main lobbyist in Europe. After leaving the company, he turned whistleblower and was the subject of The Guardian’s extensive “Uber files” investigation last year.

He claims Uber was aware of Swiss regulations governing social security payments and employment legislation but “disregarded” them. According to MacGann, the business understood that it would only be successful if it adopted the strategy of treating drivers more like independent contractors than like registered and protected employees.

After a thorough investigation

The Tamedia publications, published on Saturday, also cover the extensive PR effort Uber launched to market its economic model to regional politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, scientists, and even police personnel.

Under scrutiny

Uber told the media that it was conscious of its prior errors and would not seek to excuse them. However, in recent years, in order to comply with Swiss laws, its operations have “radically changed.”

It said that being a dependable and trustworthy partner for the towns and municipalities in which we operate is something we now place a lot of emphasis on.

Since opening shop in Switzerland, the business has drawn the attention of traditional taxi drivers, policymakers, and judges, especially in the larger cities of Geneva and Zurich. Following a Federal Court ruling in canton Geneva last summer that declared the US company to be an employer rather than merely a platform, Uber declared it would implement a “dual model” system that would give drivers the choice of continuing to operate independently or joining the workforce of a subcontracting business.

Additionally, the company was compelled to pay drivers in Geneva CHF35 million ($37 million) in backdated social security and compensation.


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