July 18, 2024


Technological development

Hashtag Trending Dec 12 – Uber files lawsuit; Union wins vote in EV battery plant; Software costs

Uber files a lawsuit to stop New York City driver pay increase, United Auto Workers win their vote in the first U.S. electric vehicle battery plant, and poor software has potentially cost the U.S. $2.4 trillion. 


That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday December 12th and I am your host, Samira Balsara.

In November, the New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to increase the pay rates of Uber and Lyft drivers in order to make up for the rise in inflation and operational costs. According to a report from Engadget, these new rates were supposed to be implemented on December 19th, however Uber has now sued the commission to block the new rates from taking effect. Uber said in its lawsuit that it would have to spend an additional $21 million to $23 million per month if the new rates are implemented. Uber said it wouldn’t be able to recover those costs without raising its fares. The drivers’ per-minute rates are going up by 7.18 per cent and per-mile rates by 16.11 percent under the new rules. Now, for a 7.5-mile trip that takes 30 minutes, a driver would earn at least $27.15, which is $2.50 more than current rates. 

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union won an election at a General Motors Co. and LG Energy Solution Ltd. electric-car battery plant in Ohio, rewarding the union its first win in a factory of that kind. Workers at Ultium Cells LLC voted in favour of union representation with a 710 to 16 vote. The plant will make battery cells for electric vehicles like the Hummer electric pickup. The union plans to organize workers in future plants that are being built across the U.S. to support automakers making the switch to zero-emission vehicles. Factories need to be organized to make EV parts as the demand from automakers to replace internal combustion engines with zero-emission vehicles continues to grow. Workers at Ultium are currently making $15.50 or $16.50 an hour. The victory allows UAW to negotiate a labour contract that pushes toward the $32-an-hour rate for workers at GM’s wholly owned auto-assembly plants. According to a report from Bloomberg, employees who were interviewed last week said they hope to make at least $24 an hour if the union organizes the plant.

Software quality issues may have cost the United States economy $2.41 trillion this year. According to Synopsys Inc.’s ‘The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the U.S.: A 2022 Report’, the cost of poor software quality in the U.S. — which includes cyberattacks due to existing vulnerabilities and complex issues involving the software supply chain, have led to a build-up of historic software deficiencies. Highlights from the report include cybercrime losses due to a rising number of software vulnerabilities. Losses rose 64 per cent from 2020 to 2021 and are on track for a further 42 per cent increase from 2021 to 2022. The quantity and cost of cybercrime incidents have been on the rise for over a decade, and now account for a sum equivalent to the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China.

Samsung Canada is teaming up again with the SickKids foundation for their annual Sweater Love fundraising campaign. This is the third consecutive year Samsung is supporting the campaign as a matching gift partner, matching donations made by the public until midnight on December 24, up to a maximum of $100,000. Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds is also joining the campaign to support fundraising for SickKids Foundation. Reynolds has also enlisted the support of Canadian actor Seth Rogen, to draw attention to the cause. Throughout the campaign, Samsung will also donate $1 for every purchase made online at Samsung.com, up to a maximum of $10,000. To make a donation to SickKids Foundation, you can visit the “Help Ryan Help SickKids” page. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.