Behind the ride-hail drivers strike

An Uber vehicle.
An Uber vehicle.
Shutterstock
An Uber vehicle.

Behind the ride-hail drivers strike

Wednesday, drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft will participate in a morning strike.
May 7, 2019

Just as Uber and Lyft executives are pushing back against unfavorable regulations in New York – a minimum pay standard and a new vehicle cap, for example – the drivers that keep those businesses moving are gearing up for a separate fight. On Wednesday, drivers for app-based ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft will participate in a morning strike in cities including New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

But even in New York, where lawmakers recently enacted a slate of new regulations for ride-hail companies, drivers still say their wages are not enough. “The minimum wage is just a minimum wage – it’s still not a livable wage,” Bhairavi Desai, president of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, told the New York Daily News. “We believe drivers should be entitled at minimum to 80% to 85% of their fares.”

The strike – planned for 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday – couldn’t come at a worse time for Uber and Lyft, which both filed for initial public offerings this year. Uber, set to begin trading this Friday, is aiming for a valuation as high as $91 billion, placing the ride-hail service in exclusive company. “With the IPO, Uber’s corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and go bankrupt,” Desai said.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

Annie McDonough
Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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