UBER everywhere… UBER UBER everywhere, right?!?! Well maybe not… Uber and Lyft drivers in a number of U.S. cities are striking on Wednesday (today), calling for higher wages and better working conditions as Uber prepares to go public on Friday. Its valuation may be as high as $91 billion.
Drivers are planning to go on strike by turning their apps off and they are asking for the customers to do the same. This is happening across 10 cities, and their goal is to spread awareness and to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security.
Drivers are demanding for the companies to put an end to sudden account deactivation and also the right to appeal such actions through the courts. UBER and LYFT companies stress the fact that the drivers are not employees… but they are independent contractors, and they do not have all the same rights and benefits they would if they were employees.
Once the IPO goes live, the companies don’t expect for it to be life changing to the drivers. 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’s BIG for the people who have completed 2,500 trips… potentially life changing)!
“Uber/Lyft going public on the stock market will make billionaires of Uber and Lyft bosses while drivers struggle in poverty and the companies destroy the livelihoods of drivers in every sector,” the New York drivers’ organization says in its call to action.
UBER response was this…
Uber said drivers “are at the heart of our service — we can’t succeed without them — and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road. Whether it’s more consistent earnings, stronger insurance protections or fully-funded four-year degrees for drivers or their families, we’ll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.”