Lyft and Uber Drivers Strike, Ask Riders to Close Apps

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm May 08, 2019

Today (May 8), drivers of rideshare apps are boycotting in conjunction with the Los Angeles Rideshare Strike and National Day of Action. Organized by Rideshare Drivers United, an independent association of Lyft and Uber drivers in Los Angeles formed in 2018, the boycott asks that for 24 hours, everyone—especially drivers—turn off their apps.

Drivers in cities across the United States and around the world are “demanding that Uber immediately reverse a recent 25 percent wage [reduction], and that both companies guarantee drivers a $28 per hourly minimum rate (or $17 after expenses), as already required in New York City,” according to the organization’s statement.

The global pushback comes the day before Uber takes its stock public on the New York Stock Exchange, which could make the company worth an estimated $91.5 billion, CNBC reports. The drivers, according to the website, are “uniting for a fair, dignified and sustainable rideshare industry.” The group’s Bill of Rights includes demands for a 10 percent commission cap for Lyft and Uber, fare transparency, recognition of the rideshare organization and its right to negotiate on members’ behalf, and a rideshare vehicle cap to eliminate unnecessary traffic and carbon emissions.

The organization estimates that in LA alone, there are at least 100,000 rideshare drivers, at least 30,000 of whom work full time. Strikers are determined to disrupt the service and call out inconsistencies.

“Mayor Eric Garcetti rang the bell for Lyft’s IPO just days after our strike, calling them a socially responsible company,” Sinakhone Keodara, a Lyft driver who has faced housing insecurity said in the organization’s statement. “But creating an underclass of homeless drivers as collateral damage is anything but responsible. Driving for Lyft pays below minimum wage. We need a minimum per hour rate to compensate for the fact that we sometimes miss out on the bonuses.”

In the U.C., actions—from full on strikes to rallies—are planned for Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington D.C. And “rideshare strike” is trending on Twitter, with people sharing their support and asking others to not cross the line: