Strange campaign says Uber is damaging Danish welfare

A bizarre campaign featuring a character named Uberman has targeted ridesharing app Uber with a website and YouTube video.

Strange campaign says Uber is damaging Danish welfare
File photo: Iris/Scanpix

“No, Uber, it’s not just an app,” says the slogan on the homepage of Danish anti-uber campaign site

The campaign, funded by trade union 3F, claims that the app is damaging Danish welfare.

The site features a video in which fictitious uber user Poul Uberman visits his elderly mother in a residential home, enthusing about how he came by Uber, taking advantage of its cheap prices while remarking on the poor conditions in the residential home.

“It’s not a Danish company. They’re in a tax haven. So the drivers put the money straight in their pockets, so it’s half price!” explains Uberman to his mother in the video.

Another page of the site features an overview of the Uber business model, comparing taxes paid by taxi companies to those paid by Uber, which is registered in the tax haven island of Bermuda. The safety risks to passengers of using the unregulated service are also presented in detail.

“Poul Uberman is someone who think it’s very smart to save lots of money by using Uber, but he doesn’t understand why there’s not enough money for his mother to eat decent food or take a bath every day,” Jan Villadsen, chairperson for 3F transport, told TV2.

“Just because you have a smart concept, a smart name and a smart app, it doesn’t mean that you are smart, good and fair to everybody,” Villadsen said.

The website also argues that Uber can not be described as a ride-sharing initiative like rival Danish app GoMore. Uber drivers can be ordered for specific journeys that they would not otherwise be taking, whereas GoMore users can only register for pre-existing trips. This makes the ride-sharing description unsuitable for Uber, says the uberman site.

Last week, legal proceedings in three separate cases against Uber began in Copenhagen, while the municipality in the capital city threatened to cancel its support for street festival Distortion unless it broke off its partnership with the app.

In February, Copenhagen cab drivers demonstrated against the rideshare company by blocking traffic at Kongens Nytorv.

The outcome of the three cases against Uber at Copenhagen City Court is likely to determine whether Uber will remain legal in Denmark.