Philly Uber, Lyft drivers join nationwide protest as rideshares go public


Uber drivers in Philadelphia are planning to go on strike, joining six other cities in a planned protest over poor working conditions and low pay. 

Uber will make its debut on Wall Street on May 8. On noon of opening day, drivers in Philly, Los Angeles, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Minneapolis will turn off the ride-sharing app for 12 hours, according to the BBC.

The activist group Gig Workers Rising is spearheading the protest, stating “Uber and Lyft are about to launch IPOs, which will put billions in the pockets of executives. But what will drivers get?”

On average, Uber drivers make $8.55 per hour in the U.S., which is $1.30 more than the national average. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is $7.25. Experts expect Uber and Lyft will be worth tens of billions, according to the BBC.

The drivers involved in the protests have four demands: 

Living wage: Uber and Lyft must pay drivers a livable hourly rate (after expenses). 

Transparency: Clear policies on wages, tips, fare breakdowns and deactivations. 

Benefits: Such as disability, workers comp, retirement, health care, death benefits, and paid time off. 

Voice at work: A recognized independent worker organization, the freedom to stand together without fear of retaliation and a fair and transparent process for deactivations. 

“Uber’s much-anticipated IPO will put millions into the pockets of executives, but the drivers who are the core of the service of the company will get nothing,” Gig Workers Rising organizer Shona Clarkson told The Guardian. “Uber is paying drivers poverty wages and continues to slash wages while executives make millions.” 

Gig Workers Rising represent about 4,000 DIY drivers working catch-as-catch-can job like Sittercity,, Uber or Lyft, TaskRabbit or Handy, DoorDash, Instacart or GrubHub. 

“Uber and Lyft exclude rideshare drivers from basic worker protections. Without these protections, drivers face low wages and labor abuses,” Gig Workers Rising posted. “They have no way to organize and are denied crucial benefits like health insurance, disability, overtime or workers comp.”

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