Uber driver loses job after shaving head as app refuses to recognize him

The driver has been visiting the Uber office every day for the past 34 days since this incident took place and has met with no response.

Hyderabad: A 4.67-star rated Uber driver, Neradi Srikanth, has been blocked by the company as its app failed to recognize his face after he shaved his head. The matter came to light on Thursday after the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPW) took up the issue. 

According to the TGPW, Srikanth, who has been driving with Uber for over 1.5 years and completed 1428 trips, said that other such employees have also been losing jobs because of technical errors like this, and urged the company to compensate for losses.

In this incident, the driver had gone to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh recently (for religious purposes) and shaved his head. Upon returning, he was shocked to find out that he could not log into his Uber partner app, which is his source of daily income. The algorithm did not identify Srikanth with his shaved head and hence he lost his only source of income.

TGPW claimed that Srikanth has been visiting the Uber office every day for the past 34 days since this incident took place and has met with no response. Shaikh Salauddin, the president of TGPW said, “Like Srikanth, many have been doing rounds of Uber offices in their cities but there is no manager or any staff that can take decisions to solve their complaints. The drivers are left stranded for days without work and money and no one to resolve their problems.”

He added that this issue is not restricted to drivers alone and that the app-based workers, in general, bear the consequences of numerous such technical errors which adversely impact their livelihoods. 

The TGPW union president said that the union has taken notice of the issues faced by Ola, Uber drivers and other app-based workers and urged the companies to take cognizance of app-based transport workers engaged with them, so as to bring in policy changes at the earliest.  

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