Uber, Lyft Drivers Planning to Strike in Major Cities on Wednesday

May 5, 2019

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Drivers for popular ridesharing services are reportedly gearing up to strike on Wednesday, May 8. The strike is in response to driver claims that ridesharing companies exploit their workforce and is set to take place before Uber goes public with the company later this week. Drivers see the IPO as another indication that they are undervalued and underpaid while management receives increased pay.

Cities in which driver strikes have been announced include Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. Additional smaller markets could also see driver strikes and protests.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 09: Uber drivers stage a protest outside the companys London HQ during a 24-hour strike action demanding employment rights, an end to unfair dismissals, increase in fares to £2 per mile and reduction of commission to 15%. The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain Drivers organised todays walkouts in London, Birmingham and Nottingham, as Uber continues to appeal against a court ruling giving drivers employee rights. October 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Uber drivers protest in London in 2018 (Image by Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

New York City’s New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) has been the most vocal group with regards to the planned driver strikes. The NYTWA is urging Uber, Lyft, and Via drivers to join the strike and go offline on May 8 from 7 — 9 a.m., during the morning rush hour. The NYTWA is also asking drivers to attend a 1 p.m. rally at the headquarters of Uber and Lyft. “With the IPO, Uber’s corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and to go bankrupt,” the NYTWA said in a press release.

The NYTWA provided a list of demands in the press release, noting that the drivers were striking to:

“Win job security for app drivers by ending unfair deactivations, secure a livable income by ending the scam of upfront pricing where passengers pay more but drivers earn less. Regulate the fare Uber/Lyft/Juno/Via charge passengers, cap the companies’ commission, guaranteeing 80-85% of the fare to the driver!”

In response to the reports of driver strikes, an Uber spokesperson issued the following statement to TPG:

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.

What To Do If Wait Times Impact Your Travel

While rideshare companies have dealt with strikes and protests from drivers in the past with little to no disruptions, there are alternative methods of transportation and ways to minimize the impact a strike has on your travels. First, if you had planned on using Uber, Lyft or other rideshare platforms, be sure to familiarize yourself with alternative modes of transportation in your area.

In New York City, commuters and would-be riders have a plethora of alternative transportation options including the subway, buses and bikesharing, as is the case with most major cities. If you are not familiar with your city’s public transportation system, be sure to familiarize yourself with routes and schedules. Additionally, apps like Transit are great for providing directions from your mobile device.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Passengers ride in a subway car two days after a man was pushed to his death in front of a train on December 5, 2012 in New York City. The incident was caught by a photographer and has since raised questions as to why someone didn't help the man before the train struck him. The New York City subway system, with 468 stations in operation, is the most extensive public transportation system in the world. It is also one of the world's oldest public transit systems, with the first underground line of the subway opening on October 27, 1904. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Featured image of March 2019 rideshare strike by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images.

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