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Up to 1,200 cases per week: CNN talked about rework, wage arrears and emotional trauma in the Uber special department

The main thing from the document that the company already uses to work on the bugs.

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CNN received a 26-page internal memorandum prepared for Uber by a third-party risk management consultant. The document is dedicated to the work of the company’s department, which is engaged in “special investigations” (Special Investigations Unit). The channel confirmed the report data in a conversation with former Uber employees who wished to remain anonymous.

Employees of this department of Uber deal with the most serious incidents in the United States, including threats, incidents of violence and harassment, rape, theft and accidents with particularly serious consequences. The group consists of 60 “investigators” and 15 leaders (team leaders).

It follows from the memorandum that, at least until the end of May 2018, the staff of the special department were overloaded, were underpaid, and at times faced with psychological trauma. The document states that the SIU team allegedly worked on about 1,200 cases per week.

What else is said in the report?

  • Most employees of the special department are from 20 to 30 years old. CNN noted that one of them went from baristas to Starbucks to handling calls from victims to Uber. Another previously worked as a snack restaurant manager Chipotle. However, many employees have a “past associated with law enforcement or an army.” Each employee is trained for eight weeks;
  • Uber divides complaints into four levels, the most serious of which deals with SIU: L3 – violence and accidents, L4 – rape, sexual harassment and death. One unfortunate case when promulgating can cost the company “millions of dollars”;
  • Every day, employees “dozens of times” communicate with potential criminals and victims – some of them, for example, use obscene expressions and threats, as well as discuss sexual harassment in detail;
  • SIU employees also complained about the office in the openspace format. They asked the leadership of Uber to make jobs soundproof, but they were refused. Because of this, the confidentiality of conversations is often compromised, and interlocutors doubt the seriousness of the investigation due to background noise. Once during a conversation with an alleged victim of harassment, the office began to congratulate another colleague with the song “Happy Birthday”;
  • Conditions in the Uber special department allegedly turned out to be so bad that the employees were warned about the risks to mental health – up to possible suicide: “One suicide will become a“ feed ”for national, if not world news”;
  • At least six employees were experiencing deep stress, requiring medical attention. In the department, “not only became real, but intensified” the problem of untreated depression due to “a huge number of cases and concerns” that the employer finds out about the bad results;
  • To keep “investigators”, Uber raises hourly rates. Special department employees are paid about $ 18.5 per hour. CNN notes that the salary is still lower than in similar positions in airlines (about 26 per hour) and bus companies (about 21.8);
  • The author of the memorandum noted that the employees of the special department “like to work for Uber”, including because they want to associate themselves with a well-known company. At the same time, they experience fatigue, suffer from lack of sleep and accumulate other “numerous problems”;

What do they answer in Uber

After a series of scandals and the departure of Uber founder Travis Kalanika, the company has repeatedly stated that it puts safety of employees and customers in priority. A spokesman for Uber said a detailed report on “transparency” would appear in 2019. When exactly it will publish, it is not clear.

In a response from CNN, a representative of Uber noted that the types of problems mentioned in the memorandum often occur in “crisis-related” posts with a large flow of employees and cited 911 as an example. .

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Uber commented on the “1,200 cases per week” data, noting that some of them may be duplicates or cases of fraud by customers. At the same time, the author of the memorandum said that “at least some SIU reports were made carelessly,” most of them “still have some justification”[/perfectpullquote]

According to the company, it already fulfills recommendations from the report, including improving schedules and working conditions, and also hires more experienced employees in the special department. The office created the conditions for work in silence, noted in Uber.

CNN noted that after journalists asked about sexual harassment, Uber announced an increase in security measures. This is a partnership with the company RapidSOS – the creators of the “panic button”, by pressing which the driver’s geolocation is sent to the local police department.

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