What the video shows isn't wrong on the level of the Fowler post. It just shows Kalanick as petty and deeply unserious about his role, which is an alarming look for someone whose company is embroiled in scandals about mismanagement.
Uber or any other company are not responsible for any tools a contractor might buy in order to complete their work, unless explicitly stated in a written agreement.
The idea that you shouldn't be allowed to express your grievances because you work at the pleasure of your employer/company is toxic and regressive.
I keep bringing this up because it's crucial to Uber's business model and something that has been repeatedly disputed. Uber badly wants its drivers not to be employees but instead partners. Kalanick can't get huffy when his business partners have grievances for him.
Except that's not the way the law works, and there are cases where things in contracts are not enforced and things outside contracts are, because the law is all about how reasonable something is.
I've been in business for a long time. I've run into many vendors who didn't breach a contract or the law, but chose to do business in a way that impacted my business in a negative way. This has ranged from enterprise software vendors to janitorial services.
Ultimately, it hurt then in some way as we priced their bullshit into the next procurement cycle.
When a giant company pretends that some random afghani dude working as a contractor is a peer to any other vendor, that's either delusional thinking or a justification for bullying.
When The US referred to targeted assassination in Vietnam as "termination with prejudice", it didn't fool anyone.
That's not the ways things work, and it's not even how they are meant to work.