Uber’s Work Hub connects out-of-work drivers to delivery and production jobs

Starting today, Uber drivers can find job listings for other companies in a new section of their app. The company announced in a blog post that its new Work Hub will help drivers connect to various job opportunities that includes its own Uber Eats service, which the company says has seen a significant boost since mid-March, along with competing services in the delivery, food production and grocery industries.

Uber will also reach out to the more than 240,000 of its registered drivers holding commercial licenses in an effort to connect them to logistics companies for employment and contract opportunities.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement that the company will continue to expand economic opportunities in the coming months by using technology to create fast and flexible access to work.

So far, the new offer is limited to the United States, but Uber says it is part of a global effort. In the U.K., Uber is partnering with online retailer Ocado to connect drivers to food delivery opportunities.

More than a dozen companies are included in Work Hub at launch, including McDonald’s, FedEx, United Parcel Service, Pepsi, Hertz, Walgreens and a number of grocery stores. The company said it has also partnered with Domino’s Pizza, Target’s delivery service Shipt and online care matching site CareGuide to hire Uber drivers.

An Uber spokesman did not say whether the company was receiving any monetary benefits from connecting drivers to those companies.

Drivers in Chicago, Dallas and Miami will also be connected to work in food production, warehouse and customer services through the company’s Uber Works program, a platform launched in October to help companies fill staffing gaps during peak demand with temporary workers.

Ride-hailing has suffered a near-total collapse as large parts of the United States shut down to combat the spread of the highly infectious virus. Some drivers who spoke to Reuters said their income has dropped by as much as 80% and many said they had stopped driving altogether over fears of getting infected.

The crisis has exposed the vulnerability of gig workers hired as independent contractors. While on-demand workers were included in a recent U.S. stimulus bill to receive unemployment pay they are normally not entitled to, they may run into difficulty claiming those benefits.

Material from Reuters was used in this report.

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