Ride-hailing giant Uber launched an app to connect blue-collar workers with small businesses that need to fill shifts with temporary staff.
“Uber Works is currently live in Chicagoland. We have plans to expand to more areas soon,” Uber said on its website on Friday.
Workers for gigs such as event staff, general labour or warehouse operations will form Uber Works’ pool of vetted, qualified workers.
Uber’s ride-hailing business is viewed to be a huge proponent of the gig economy.
Following the same model, Uber Works app will show workers the available work and shifts in a chosen location, and connect them to businesses that struggle with staffing up to meet peak demand and grapple with missed shifts and high turnover – all on temporary, contractual-basis.
Meanwhile, the state of California has passed the Assembly Bill 5 or AB5 law that limits the use of classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees by companies in the state.
Such an arrangement could potentially reclassify Uber drivers and other gig workers as employees entitled to greater benefits. For now, Uber claims to be a technology company, thus exempting itself from AB5.
The Uber Works app brings a paradigm shift to that argument.
Uber Works app users can get detailed information about shifts they’re interested in, including information about gross pay, work location and skills or required attire. It will also serve all time-tracking needs, allowing users to clock in and out and log breaks.
The San Francisco-headquartered company announced its foray into a third segment of business at a time when it grapples with crippling losses in core business.
It reported a record $5.2 billion loss in the second quarter with a decline in revenue growth. Its main ride-hailing operations face tough competition in crucial APAC markets like India with a number of commute alternatives available.
In a major reorganisation, Uber reportedly brought in its India-based business, including food delivery, under Uber India Systems.
Earlier, Uber’s rides business and food delivery arm was a part of Uber BV, a private limited liability company registered in the Netherlands.