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Urban Company to reduce commissions, increase earnings for gig workers after facing backlash

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Amidst concerns over the high commission rates, low wages for its service partners, Urban Company (UC) on Thursday announced that it has decided to reduce the commissions charged from its service partners as well as a marginal increase in the payouts.

This comes after service delivery partners( beauticians) staged a protest a few days ago in Delhi demanding pay-parity. The company earlier released detailed data on the earnings of its delivery partners and denied allegations that surfaced on social media saying that some executives made a meagre Rs 67 for four orders during the day.
The company has now released a 12-point programme to improve the earnings of its workers. Under the new policy, the digital-first services firm entails a marginally increase in the prices of several high demand services across categories.

In terms of commissions, UC said that for the beauty categories (in which almost all our women partners work), given the impact of COVID-19 and other factors, we are reducing the highest commission slab from 30% to 25%.

Earlier, commissions ranged from 8.5% for small orders to 30% for high-ticket orders. Commissions will now range from 8.5% to 25%. The highest slab currently applies to high-value orders and this change will now help partners earn more on these high-value orders (shown below is the commission graph for one of our beauty categories – Salon at home for women). Average commissions after this change come out in the range of 20-22%, it added.

Similarly, the new policy envisages aims to cap the penalties on those workers who weren’t able to deliver the services. The cap price for penalties has been halved to Rs 1,500 from Rs 3,000 earlier. In addition, the company also said that it will transfer the entire amount, collected from the customers due to order cancellations, to its partners.

The various better livelihood measures for the delivery partners, as a part of the new action, will involve insurance, vaccination coverage, skilling and women SOS helpline.

How much does a UC partner earn?

As per the data shared by the Urban Company, on average, a service delivery partner earns Rs 34,657 on a monthly basis of which the company charges Rs 7,622 (22% commission). However, for the delivery service partners who are able to process more than 30 orders per month, the payouts are in the range of 47,745-Rs 60,024 of which the commission charges are between Rs 10,174-Rs 12,244 respectively.

On average, a partner spends 69 hours monthly on the platform earning Rs 277 per hour.

Also Read: Urban Company’s revenue models will eventually evolve, says founder Abhiraj Bahl amid women workers’ protests

Also Read: Urban Company denies allegations of women workers, says their earnings are fair

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Adele rumoured to be planning one-off Vegas gig | Entertainment

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Adele is reportedly in talks for a one-off concert at The Encore Theatre at Wynn in Las Vegas.

The 33-year-old singer made her long-awaited comeback with the brand new single ‘Easy On Me’ this week.

And after it was claimed she has been getting tips from Celine Dion about making a residency work, it looks like the Grammy-winner might be set to follow in the footsteps of Beyonce and Robbie Williams by playing to 1,500 fans at the famed venue in Sin City.

A source told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “Adele has said that she wants to showcase the album in Vegas with a one-off, very special concert. Ideally, she doesn’t want it to be an arena.

“She is much more comfortable in smaller venues than playing to crowds of tens of thousands.

“And the smaller Encore is a very strong contender. Its old-school Rat Pack influences make it feel very ‘her’.”

Inside the venue, is the At Sinatra Italian restaurant in homage to late Rat Pack member Frank Sinatra.

‘My Heart Will Go On’ hitmaker Celine played in the US city during a record-breaking four-year run between 2003 and 2007 before returning to perform in Vegas from 2011 to 2019.

And a source recently claimed: “Adele adores Celine. When they met she asked all about how she manages the workload.

“Celine was happy to help and recommend Vegas. Adele wants to be near her LA home so it’s a great option.”

The ‘Skyfall’ hitmaker has just confirmed that her fourth record, ’30’ – the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s ’25’ – will be released on November 19, and she described the LP as her “ride or die throughout the most turbulent period” of her life.

Adele filed for divorce from Simon Konecki in 2019 having been separated for a long time following their marriage the previous year, while her dad Mark Evans lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

She said: “It was my ride or die throughout the most turbulent period of my life.”

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Make Gig Work Decent Work

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On most days, Doug Ford’s Conservative government in Ontario does not respond well to problems, or it actively makes things worse. If an election had been called a year-and-a-half ago, Ford would have lost. However, when COVID hit, Ford nearly brought Ontario to its knees. Nevertheless, he managed to deceive some into thinking he managed well.

Today, he is barely visible, having prorogued Queen’s Park during September’s federal election to protect his federal Conservative counterparts instead of stepping up to protect Ontarians and help guide our recovery.

Schools are suffering, hospitals and healthcare workers are short-staffed and stressed. Many Ontarians are ashamed that Ford did not declare September 30th a statutory holiday to remember the colonial impact of residential schools. Long-term care gaps have not been addressed, and his government offered minimum wage workers a measly $0.10 per hour increase.

So what are his priorities in the middle of the COVID pandemic? His government has shown that it is ready to attack the rights of Ontarians, whether it is democratic rights – as illustrated by Bill 5 which slashed the size of Toronto City Council in 2018. And they are willing to attack workers’ rights – clearly demonstrated by the announcement on October 7, 2021 that they will reduce money available to injured workers by giving up to $3-billion in WSIB premiums back to employers. What’s next?

Ford Government Prepares to Attack Rights of Gig Workers

Gig workers are essential workers during the pandemic, helping move people safely and keeping the restaurant industry afloat, yet they are denied basic rights at work available to all other employees. What is Doug Ford’s government doing about this?

This past summer, Doug Ford’s Conservative government set up an advisory panel to look at the “future of work.” The Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee was like the proverbial “if you blinked your eyes, you missed it.” It ran for less than seven weeks, in the height of a COVID summer, with a single website to explain what it was doing, and only one way to participate.

The intent is to legitimize the misclassification of gig workers – basically to say that employers have no responsibility for their app-based workers and that workers have no legal rights. Remember Foodora and the successful fight of Foodsters, the workers at Foodora, who won the legal battle to unionize? Ford’s corporate friends find these rights inconvenient for maximizing profits. It is these types of rights Premier Doug Ford is getting ready to carve out.

In California, the courts recently overthrew a new rule created by Uber that said gig workers were not employees. But as we know from the Bill 5 experience, Ford’s Conservatives will use the notwithstanding clause to get around constitutional rights, if he thinks it is important for his corporate friends and doesn’t think there will be much pushback from voters.

This is an issue for all workers: If Ontario successfully lowers the bar for existing gig workers, employers will look for every opportunity to make all jobs gig jobs, and all workers gig workers.

Gig Workers Fight Back

October 7th was World Day for Decent Work. Gig workers are taking action to demand #MakeGigWorkDecentWork. Together, they created a Bill of Rights that outlines what minimum rights our governments must guarantee to ensure fairness and non-discriminatory treatment for gig workers:

  • A worker is a worker; Full employment rights with no carve-outs from minimum wage, sick leave, vacation pay and other minimum employment standards.
  • Payment for all hours of work: Paid time from when workers sign in until they sign out of the app with a clear and concise breakdown of how pay is calculated.
  • Compensation for necessary work related expenses to ensure gig workers’ real wages are not reduced below the minimum wage.
  • Full and equal access to regulated benefits programs like Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and injury compensation (WSIB).
  • Data transparency: access to all data collected and how the algorithm affects workers, including any forms of discipline.
  • Make all work count: gig work must count toward Permanent Residency applications.
  • Put onus on employers to prove that workers are not employees, instead of workers proving that they are not independent contractors. Enshrine the predictable and purposive ABC test for employment status.
  • Recognize gig workers’ right to form a union, with the union they choose, to have a collective voice at work.
  • Workers must have the right to negotiate for livable wages and benefits with their employer. Real, worker-led sectoral bargaining to enable meaningful collective bargaining to raise industry standards.
  • An end to arbitrary deactivations and fair compensation for glitches: Just cause protection against deactivation, access to a clear and free process and enforcement mechanisms for minimum standards. Compensation for technical issues on the platform’s end.

Labour Council resolves to:

  1. Demand that the provincial government not carve out a separate employment status for gig workers;
  2. Call on affiliates to contact the provincial government with the same demand;
  3. Communicate to our members how critical it is that we remember how Ford has failed working people and our communities on election day, June 2, 2022. •

Since 1871, the Labour Council has championed principles which improve the lives of its members and their communities. Today, we work for justice in our workplaces, in our politics, in our communities, and in our world – labourcouncil.ca.



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Anime Star Bryce Papenbrook Talks Attack on Titan, His Latest Gig, and Convention Comebacks

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When it comes to dubbed anime, Bryce Papenbrook is a household name. The voice actor has been working in anime for years now, and his debut in 2000 has led him to tackle some of the industry’s biggest roles. From Sword Art Online to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Papenbrook knows what it is like to work under pressure, and the actor took time to speak with ComicBook.com about his career these days.

With several anime gigs on the horizon, Papenbrook spoke to us about his busy schedule and new gig with the ticketing company known as Tixr. The actor has been brought in as the Director of Pop Culture at Tixr to reconnect stir-wild fans back to events and conventions. Obviously, the challenge is big given the pandemic’s impact on the convention circuit, but Papenbrook says he’s ready to take on the job. And of course, the star couldn’t help but talk about the final season of Attack on Titan along the way…!

Question: For you, as an advocate for Tixr, how are you kind of handling all of this work that you have on your plate? You’re doing this, you’re overseeing tons of anime work, whether that’s in the booth or elsewhere. Talk to me about how you kind of balance your schedule?

Bryce Papenbrook: Time management is a very interesting thing and I’ve gotten very good at it over the years. I love being part of a lot of different things. The really unique thing about being a voice actor is it’s very different from being on set when you’re working on a film. Because of COVID, and what has happened now, is everyone is working remotely. I’ve built a studio at my house, so no longer do I have to sit in traffic and do my vocal warmups of screaming in my car on the way to sessions, I just walk into my booth at home. Because of technology like Zoom, I’m able to connect with event producers all around the world, right from my house. I’m able to balance those things and organize those things and really be effective at all of them with just a little bit of time management which is awesome to be able to do.

I’m also very excited to be back attending events in person. Those start for me again coming up later this month. I’m very, very excited to start that again. It’s just a time management thing on my side. The great thing about being part of a fantastic team like Tixr is there are so many passionate people on this team, from the founders to the client success team, which are dedicated to all of the partners that join Tixr. To the engineers, to other folks on the team like myself. There’s just a lot of people that absolutely love events and love supporting them and are great to work with.

Question: In anticipation of the flood gates reopening, being able to go back to massive events like Sakura-Con or Anime Expo, as I’ve mentioned before, what is your favorite thing about anime conventions, both as a voice actor, as somebody in the industry, but also as a fan?

Papenbrook: It’s that energy. It’s the energy I kind of mentioned earlier. It’s really unique. Just to be in a place where everyone is celebrating their love for this. These anime and these stories that are just so special is really, really exciting. I’ve fallen in love with it. I absolutely love attending these events and that’s really why I want to continue to see them grow and do new things and innovate and keep up with the times. Tixr, I believe, is the right tool to do that.

Question: I know as conventions come back, things are going to get crazy. As an actor, there are three major series right now that I know that you’re associated with, so when it comes to those three fandoms, what do you think is the biggest difference if any, that you feel when meeting with fans?

Papenbrook: I think with all three of those franchises, there’s a level of excitement that comes with each one. Each show just has its own kind of unique energy, right? I don’t know if that stands out in the fandom. I think people love all three of those shows, you don’t just have to like Sword Art Online or just like Attack on Titan, or just like Demon Slayer. Celebrating all of them is what I’m all about. I don’t know if it’s kind of different for someone who just likes Sword Art Online, because most of the time people like all of those shows.

I’ve been absolutely hooked on all three. With Demon Slayer season two, and Sword Art Online movie, and the final season, the second half of the final season of Attack on Titan, I have some really exciting things coming up and that’s just kind of the franchises I’ve been part of for quite some time. There’s a handful of other things on my side that I’m working on that are just so exciting. It’s a great time in my career and it’s going to be an exciting time back at events very soon.

Question: As the years are coming by, the next year, the next two years, the next three years, I want to ask how you would like to see your career with anime evolve, whether it’s behind the scenes or specifically with events. Do you have any projects that you can talk about?

Papenbrook: I’ve been a voice actor for a long time and I’ve found that you cannot predict what’s going to happen in that career. It is totally random. I have no idea what’s around the corner. I’m auditioning multiple times daily for all sorts of different projects. I have zero control, what role I’m cast in. So all I can do is put out the best work I can, head down, continue to work hard, continue to grow as an actor, and hope that I continue to land incredible roles as I have in the past, and that the roles that I have been attached to keep going so I keep getting to embody these awesome characters. On the events side, I’m excited to get back out there and meet fans again and just attend some incredible events all over the U.S. and all over the world again. I’m excited for that to start.

I’m really loving being able to work with events on a different level and see them from a different angle from being part of the team at Tixr. I’d love to invite any event producers, whether it’s a large event or a small event to reach out to Tixr. I’d love to talk to you and show you this stuff so you can see what’s resonated so deeply with me, why I believe that Tixr is the right company to push pop culture to the next level. I can show you some of this stuff that we’re doing now, and some of this stuff that’s coming soon. It’s really exciting. I’d love to invite anyone who’s reading this to reach out and line up a time to chat with me. I can’t wait to show you some stuff.

Question: So, can you kind of give me the introduction to Tixr? What would you want to say about this company and what its mission is?

Papenbrook: My official title at Tixr is the “director of pop culture.” Coming from the world of anime and comic conventions, my mission in taking on that role was really to support the growth of those types of events using Tixr’s technology. I’ve been really fortunate in the world of voice acting to have been connected with the roles that I have and been invited to anime and pop culture events all around the world. For voice actors, especially, who are guests of those events, they’re just really special. I’m inside my studio now, this is where I spend most of my time. I’m in this soundproof room solo. When I’m working on these games and these shows, I pour my heart into the microphone and just hope those performances are heard and resonate with people.

When I get the opportunity to go to these conventions, it’s just really special to connect with people who have watched my work. I’m able to talk to them and they explain how it’s connected with them and what worked and what they liked and it’s just such an amazing experience. I’ve fallen in love with these events. I really joined Tixr when I saw what the technology was and what it can do. I just wanted to spread the word.

Question: Here in the United States, Anime conventions are becoming massive. Anime Expo, for instance. How important do you feel it is for Tixr, as a brand, to be able to evolve with fans in the U.S.?

Papenbrook: Tixr is a modern ticketing company. The buying experience is extremely streamlined, and it’s what you’d hope to see when you’re buying a ticket to an exciting event. There’s this feeling, there’s this energy that happens at these events. I’m sure you’ve felt it being at a lot of these things as well, but it’s really unique.

These events, especially anime events, are all about community. It’s really about bringing together all of these people who love and are so passionate about Anime and this culture. What rewards does it give those attendees to spread the word about the events of friends and others they think would love the event also. In turn, these events can now show appreciation through discounts and upgrades and a money-can’t-buy experience.

Got any questions for Papenbrook about his career in anime? You can find his Instagram, Twitter, and website here. And if you’ll be watching Attack on Titan‘s midseason premiere, let us know!



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