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"The capitalist system we have has unduly rewarded him with extraordinary, in-your-face wealth. This amount of money could change people's lives."
While Uber and Lyft drivers in the United States and around the world continue to struggle to fight for decent wages and dignified work conditions, Uber’s co-founder Garrett Camp has purchased a record-breaking US$72.5 million dollars mansion in Beverly Hills (Los Angeles).
Drivers from ride-sharing apps, many of whom are homeless and with no other choice than to live in their cars, have reacted with outrage to the news, saying that it exactly illustrates the way richest people in the United States take advantage and enjoy their lives on the backs of poor and exploited workers.
"Drivers are living in their cars. We're fighting for fair wages. At least share that wealth with the people who have actually built your company," she added.
ICYMI: Last week, Uber co-founder Garrett Camp quietly shelled out $71 million for Beverly Hills mansion. Meanwhile, a growing number of his workers are forced to sleep in their cars as Uber cut wages to ensure a strong IPO. #DisruptInequality#AB5https://t.co/5oPT3dF5Tt
Camp’s acquisition has been reported on Monday, weeks after Uber and Lyft drivers went on strike on May, to demand adequate minimum wage and better working conditions, including higher pay, protections, transparency and support from the billionaire companies.
President Donald Trump's National Labor Relations Board had helped the company to boost its revenue after its debut on public stock markets in May. It did so by deciding that the company’s workers were independent contractors and thus not entitled to the organizing rights of traditional employees.
Uber became consequently more powerful according to Veena Dubal, a professor of employment law at the University of California. Dubal told The Guardian that the company’s evading labor laws and mistreating workers allowed it to raise its investors and founders wealth.
"It's a slap in everyone's face," the professor added, "The capitalist system we have has unduly rewarded him with extraordinary, in-your-face wealth. This amount of money could change people's lives."
Camp’s property which corresponds to a 12,000-square-foot residence with seven bedrooms and a new guesthouse, comes as the housing crisis in Los Angeles deepens. This year the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) counted nearly 59,000 people sleeping on sidewalks, in makeshift tents, in abandoned vehicles or in shelters and government-subsidized “transitional housing” on any given night in Los Angeles County.
That’s the highest number documented since LAHSA began conducting its surveys 10 years ago.