- Drivers for ride-share companies Uber and Lyft are planning strikes this week in several cities as the controversy around the two companies’ massive IPOs heat up.
- The strike comes ahead of Uber’s IPO filing, which advocates say highlight the poor working standards and pay structure that the company has in place for drivers.
- Among the demands listed in an announcement for New York City drivers, are increased job security, livable incomes, and capping the companies’ commission to guarantee 80-85% of proceeds from the car go to the driver.
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Drivers for ride-share companies Uber and Lyft are planning strikes in cities across the country over working conditions and payment as the company gears up for its IPO.
On Wednesday, May 8, drivers in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, are planning to strike between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., according to an announcement.
Drivers in New York coordinated the strike with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, writing in an announcement that their demands job security, livable incomes, and capping the companies’ commission to guarantee 80-85% proceeds from the far to the driver.
NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said the company’s plans for the IPO ignited drivers to push back against what they see as unfair working terms and conditions, which they claim are geared towards benefitting corporate-level employees.
"Wall Street investors are telling Uber and Lyft to cut down on driver income, stop incentives, and go faster to Driverless Cars," Desai said. "Uber and Lyft wrote in their S1 filings that they think they pay drivers too much already. With the IPO, Uber’s corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and go bankrupt."
Sonam Lama, who has driven for Uber since 2015, said pay cuts and too many cars on the road diminish drivers’ opportunities.
"I’m striking for my kid’s future. I have a 5-year-old son, and I drive for Uber to support him. But it’s becoming harder and harder," Lama said on AM New York of the protest. "Uber executives are getting rich off of our work, they should treat us with respect. We are striking to send a message that drivers will keep rising up."
Other strikes organized by Rideshare Drivers United include drivers in San Francisco who will log out of their apps from lunch hour to evening rush hour and then from rush hour to midnight. Another strike in Los Angeles and is planned to last 24 hours.
Lyft made its Nasdaq debut in March, rising to a valuation just over $29 billion on its first day. It was the first ride-share company in history to go public.
The IPO was just the beginning of more than 100 tech unicorns, startups valued at $1 billion or more, that could go public in 2019, including Pinterest, Airbnb, and Lyft’s ride-share app rival, Uber.
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