Uber and Lyft drivers are striking in over a dozen cities around the world on Wednesday. Here's the full list of where demonstrations are planned
- Drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other apps are planning a strike and protests around the world on Wednesday.
- Many drivers say their pay has consistently fallen in recent years, and are unhappy with their status as independent contractors.
- Actions are scheduled for New York, Los Angeles, Georgia, London, Scotland, and more. Here's the full list of locations.
Uber and Lyft drivers around the world are planning an international day of action on Wednesday to fight for better pay and treatment by the ride-hailing companies.
It's far from the first time drivers for the companies have tried to organize demonstrations, but this time — the week of Lyft's first earnings report as a public company and Uber's initial public offering — has become particularly salient, as many company employees are set to become very rich thanks to the IPOs.
At the crux of their argument is a measure known as "take rate." This fraction, which currently average about 20% for Uber and 25% for Lyft, is the percentage of each fare the companies keep, with the rest going to the driver. Skimming more money from fares can appease Wall Street investors, but make drivers more angry. You can read more about take rates here.
Not a driver but want to support them? Groups are also encouraging riders to avoid requesting rides on Wednesday in solidarity.
In New York, the country's most lucrative market for rides, drivers will log off during the morning rush hour from 7 am to 9 am, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said in a press release. In Los Angeles, drivers organized by Rideshare Drivers United will log off from the app for 24 hours.
Other protests are scheduled in Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Washington D.C. and abroad. Did we miss a city? get in touch with this reporter at email@example.com.
Here's the full list with details for each city:
Drivers in New York City will log out of their apps during the morning rush hour from 7 am to 9 am, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance said in a press release. Drivers will also hold a rally at Uber and Lyft's office in Long Island City, Queens at 1pm.
They're demanding job security, livable incomes, and regulations that guarantee 80% to 85% of a fare to each driver.
"Wall Street investors are telling Uber and Lyft to cut down on driver income, stop incentives, and go faster to Driverless Cars," Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the NYTWA, 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. That's why NYTWA members are joining the international strike to stand up to Uber greed."
Ride-hailing drivers in the US' second largest city will turn off their apps for 24 hours, Rideshare Drivers United said in a press release. Members will also picket at Los Angeles International Airport, the group said.
"RDU-LA demands major reforms to the industry to make it fair, dignified, and sustainable," it said in a press release. "Their Drivers Bill of Rights includes a ten percent commission cap, transparency around de-activations, the right for drivers to organize and negotiate with the companies, and community standards around traffic and emissions to ensure that the rideshare industry benefits the cities where it operates."
Drivers in Philadelphia will picket Uber's Greenlight Hub in the city from 12 pm to 1 pm, the Philadelphia Drivers Union and Philadelphia Limousine Association said. The groups are encouraging other drivers to also not accept rides during that hour.
They're demanding an 80/20 fare split of gross passenger receipts and a minimum living wage of $20 per hour after expenses.
"Passengers deserve to know which portion of their fare goes to their driver and how the algorithms calculate their fare," the groups said.
"What passengers pay has increased over time while the portion they pay to drivers has decreased. Despite Uber's promise that the extra revenue would be directed to drivers, subsequent rate and promotion cuts suggest otherwise. In addition, too many TNC vehicles have impacted traffic congestion. It's been demonstrated that setting a minimum living wage for drivers will force Uber and Lyft to self-police the number of drivers they will send into traffic. #sharethefare"
Drivers at the United States' capital will strike in solidarity on Wednesday, the Drive United DC group said in a Facebook event. Drivers will rally at Raegan National Airport.
"Today's action is about clearly stating that drivers' livelihoods should not be dependent on the whims of tech CEOs," Stan De La Cruz, a founding member of Drive United, said in a press release. "We deserve to be safe on the job, we deserve healthcare, and we deserve to earn a living wage."
The district's two airports said they are monitoring the strike and are working to ensure alternatives are available.
NEW: @Reagan_Airport and @Dulles_Airport making preparations in case of major Uber/Lyft strike planned for tomorrow @nbcwashingtonpic.twitter.com/jnKiW84n9Z
RELATED: Take a look at Lyft throughout the years:
Drivers in the Windy City will assemble in downtown Chicago at Grant Park at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, followed by a demonstration at 3 pm, Chicago Rideshare Advocates said in a Facebook event.
"Join as we push for a more fair, just, and safer rideshare system that works for everyone not just the corporate investors in Uber and Lyft," the group said.
In Lyft and Uber's hometown, drivers are staging a 12-hour shutdown from 12 pm to midnight on Wednesday, as well as a rally at Uber's South of Market headquarters, Gig Works Rising said.
Boston's Independent Drivers Guild is urging drivers in the city to remain offline for 24 hours beginning at midnight Wednesday. The group is also organizing a demonstration at Uber's Boston Greenlight Hub from 12 pm to 3 pm, it said in a Facebook post.
"The sweat of these drivers is what's funding the IOP," Felipe Martinez, a member of Guild's board of directors, told Boston Magazine. "They're gonna be giving the profits to investors from the sweat of the drivers, and we feel that's unfair when they keep lowering our pay."
Drivers in San Diego, just like their peers in Los Angeles, are also being organized by Rideshare Drivers United. They'll log off for 24 hours on Wednesday, as well as hold a demonstration at San Diego International Airport, the group said.
Drivers in Connecticut will rally from 11 am to 12 pm at Uber's Stamford hub, Connecticut Drivers United said in a Facebook event. The demonstration is in support of a bill currently in the state's legislature which "would give basic labor protections to rideshare drivers across the state," the group said.
Drivers in Atlanta — home to the US' busiest airport — are planning a 12-hour strike on Wednesday from noon until midnight, Rideshare Drivers United Georgia, which has about 200 members, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
The group plans to rally at Uber's hub in Chamblee at noon and at Lyft's office in Atlanta at 5 pm.
Drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Glasgow plan to observe a nine-hour boycott of the Uber app on Wednesday from 7 am to 4 pm and are calling on the public to do the same.
"Uber's business model is unsustainable in its dependence upon large scale worker exploitation, tax avoidance and regulatory arbitrage," the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain said on its website. "Since 2016, successive judgments from the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal have all said Uber drivers are entitled to basic worker rights, such as the minimum wage and holiday pay."
The group is demanding fares be increased to 2 GBP per mile, a 15% decrease in the commissions taken by Uber, and an end to what the group says are unfair dismissals.
Details for each of the four cities can be found here.
How Uber and Lyft are responding
Ahead of the protests, both companies released statements re-affirming their commitment to drivers.
Here's what 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."
"Lyft drivers' hourly earnings have increased over the last two years, and they have earned more than $10B on the Lyft platform. Over 75 percent drive less than 10 hours a week to supplement their existing jobs. On average, Lyft drivers earn over $20 per hour. We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we're constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community."
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