Uber, Lyft, ride-sharing app drivers plan worldwide strike next week

NEW YORK — Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing app drivers in New York City will be joining drivers across around the world by going on strike to demand better job security, wages and fare regulations on Wednesday.

The New York Taxi Workers Association will be striking from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday, just ahead of Uber’s initial public offering. They will join drivers from Los Angeles, Philadelphia and London, who also announced they will conduct strikes on the same day.

Demands include:

  • More job security and an end to unfair account deactivation that force drivers to live in fear of losing their livelihood.
  • Liveable incomes and an end to the scam of upfront pricing.
  • Regulation of fares. Companies should charge passengers and cap the companies’ commission, guaranteeing 80 to 85% of the fare to the driver.

NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai argues that ride sharing companies’ corporate owners are set to make billions while drivers are left in poverty.

“Wall Street investors are telling Uber and Lyft to cut down on driver income, stop incentives, and go faster to Driverless Cars. Uber and Lyft wrote in their S1 filings that they think they pay drivers too much already,” said Desai, “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.”

Drivers going on strike say they joined because they need job security and need to support their families.

“Any day you can wake up and find yourself without a job and not know why,” said Varinder Kuma, a Lyft and Juno driver, and former Uber driver.

“I’m striking for my kid’s future,” said Uber driver Sonam Lama, “I drive for Uber to support him.”
The Independent Drivers Guild is also expected to hold a solidarity rally Wednesday, supporting the drivers, outside the Uber and Lyft headquarters in Queens.

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