Uber drivers in the Dominican Republic only dream of a decision that in Costa Rica recognized labor rights
The recent court ruling in Costa Rica that requires Uber to pay a driver for social security charges such as bonuses, vacations, and occupational risks has raised concerns among Uber drivers in the Dominican Republic. Drivers argue that they deserve the same labor rights as any worker, regardless of working on a digital platform. They have demanded health insurance, a cooperative, and agreements with financial institutions for credit facilities for Uber partners, among other things.
Driver Ángel Peguero stated that they also require mileage rates that adjust to inflation and real incentives for going the extra mile in service delivery. The decision in Costa Rica has been recognized by the country’s president, Rodrigo Chaves, but he emphasized that it should not be taken as a general rule since the government is negotiating with taxis, platform drivers, and the platforms themselves. A bill is expected to be ready in May to provide a legal basis for labor rights in the industry.
David Delgado, the lawyer who handled the Costa Rican case, explained that the decision indicates a working relationship of nearly six years, during which the driver worked six days a week for almost 12 hours a day. He pointed out that Uber drivers are currently not covered by anything if they die in service after a traffic accident. Delgado stated that the model needs to reconsider minimum guarantees to level the playing field among companies.
Lina Díaz, who has been working as an Uber driver in the Dominican Republic for two years, expressed skepticism, saying that Uber has not done anything for its drivers in other countries, so they would do less in the Dominican Republic. She highlighted the low payment for travel costs and the high cost of owning a vehicle, particularly when supporting a family. Drivers have also demanded the creation of a genuine socio-driver association, support groups, or a community of partners for service improvements, and more personalized communication with the Uber proforma.