"What they're doing down there is bias, it's racist, and it's discrimination, it's as simple as that," said Will Anderson at a rally for better working conditions at Uber on Sunday.
Anderson claims race played a part in his termination from the popular rideshare service.
He was a featured guest at Sunday's rally. A flier for the event featured a quote from Anderson, saying, "My rating went to a 4.6 (out of a five-star rating) and they suspended me. They just turned my phone off. They didn't give me a warning; they didn't give me a week's notice. I just woke up in the morning to go to work and my phone was off. And they've done that to a lot of people."
The former Uber driver joined KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz, and found out the show host had done some independent research that some might say poked holes in Anderson's story.
Anderson claims he doesn't know what Uber discovered that led to his termination. "All I'm doing is bringing up to your attention that the City of Seattle and Washington state did exactly what they're supposed to as far as a background check. I gave them all my information, just like all the other drivers and once again, Uber administration uses the background check as a way to cherry pick on the drivers who they like and dislike."
Anderson also claims that Uber has similarly discriminated against as many as 300 other drivers.
But Rantz said he performed, on his own, a cursory background check of Anderson and spotted information, that he thought may possibly concern Uber as an employer.
According to his research, Rantz found that Anderson had been charged with telephone harassment in 2012.
As Rantz pushed questions about Anderson's background, and involvement in other court cases, Anderson is heard saying, 'Hello? Hello?' and the alleged dropped call brought the interview to an end.
The meeting Sunday was to feature, in addition to Uber drivers, a representative from Teamsters Local 117, OneAmerica Votes, and Seattle City Councilmembers Mike O'Brien and Kshama Sawant. However, O'Brien arrived 35 minutes late and didn't speak at the meeting, while Sawant didn't show at all.
Anderson's story was also largely disavowed by other drivers at the meeting.
Uber Seattle released the following statement in response to Anderson's claim:
Uber's best-in-class service requires that we deactivate drivers who provide poor customer service, pose a risk to rider safety or violate our terms of service and commitment to customers. We no longer partner with Mr. Anderson because the contents of his background/driving record check. Safety for both riders and drivers is our top priority and we are committed to bringing the highest level of service to Seattle.
UPDATE (Wednesday night): Daniel Ajema, an Uber driver, and Yedidya Seifu, a former Uber driver, join Jason Rantz to clear the air.
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