Uber and Lyft Drivers Go on Strike
May 8, 2019—According to NPR, drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies plan to strike, turning off the apps as they flex their collective muscles to say: What about us?
Drivers in 10 cities across the country are taking action on Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security—and some are calling on passengers to temporarily boycott the ride-hailing services, reports NPR
Among the drivers' demands in Los Angeles are a 10 percent cap on commissions taken by Uber and Lyft, hourly minimum pay and fare breakdowns on passenger receipts that show the companies' take. New York drivers are demanding an end to sudden account deactivations and the right to appeal through the courts.
The strike was spearheaded by Rideshare Drivers United, a Los Angeles-based association of drivers. And the group is asking for the support of would-be passengers, reports NPR.
"We ask that the public support drivers in their struggle for fair wages and our Drivers bill of rights," spokesman Brian Dolber said in an email to NPR. "We are calling for community standards that will ensure that Uber and Lyft do not create needless traffic and pollution. By boycotting Uber/Lyft for 24 hours, passengers can show that they stand with RDU in our fight for a rideshare industry that truly serves Angelenos."
Uber's valuation could be as high as $91 billion when trading begins, which would place it among the top three most valuable firms to ever debut on a U.S. exchange. Co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick's stake may be worth as much as $5.9 billion.
But the IPO won't be life-changing for most drivers, who Uber insists are independent contractors, not employees. Some drivers will receive one-time bonuses according to their loyalty: Those who completed more than 2,500 trips before April 7 and at least one this year are eligible for a bonus, ranging from $100 for those drivers with 2,500 completed trips to $40,000 for 40,000 completed trips. U.S. drivers can use that bonus to buy up to $10,000 in stock in the company at the IPO price.
That may not end up being a great deal if Lyft's IPO is any indication: Its shares are down about 20 percent since the initial offering. Some drivers also went on strike before Lyft went public in March.