Uber and Lyft Drivers Across California are Striking Next Week
At the very beginning, driving for Uber and Lyft was a good gig. People made a lot of money and the hours were flexible. But over the years the rideshare companies have been steadily cutting the drivers’ pay and making it so they have to work far too many hours, with no benefits, to earn decent money.
To make matters worse, Prop 22, which was passed in the 2020 election, has codified gig worker exploitation in California, allowing these giant tech companies to treat drivers like employees without providing them the benefits and protections of actual employees. It’s a terribly unfair situation for workers to be in.
With that in mind, rideshare drivers are planning a day-long strike on Wednesday July, 21st and demanding that Uber and Lyft stop cutting wages and also give drivers the right to form a union. The strike is being organized by Rideshare Drivers United, which is an independent association of US rideshare drivers that was founded in Los Angeles.
Rideshare Drivers United rallies for the PRO Act in will be happening in the following places on July 21st:
San Francisco – Uber HQ, 1725 3rd St – 1pm
Los Angeles – Airport Landing Viewpoint, W 92nd S – 1pm
San Diego – 1240 W Morena Blvd – 1pm
Another of the demands is for Congress to pass the PRO Act which would be the strongest Labor legislation passed in generations. As NPR points out, “Union leaders say the Protecting the Right to Organize Act — PRO Act — would finally begin to level a playing field they say is unfairly tilted toward big business and management, making union organizing drives and elections unreasonably difficult.”
Eve Aruguete, a driver from Oakland, and an organizer with Rideshare Drivers United said “App-based workers are fed up with exploitation from big tech companies. Misclassification is like concrete, keeping us underground. The PRO Act is the jackhammer that will break that concrete apart, allowing app-based workers to organize,” according to the press release sent out by Rideshare Drivers United.
Long-time Uber and Lyft driver Esterphanie St. Juste weighed in further on the awful treatment of workers saying this about the new rate of .32 per mile from LAX saying “I’m surprised anybody is there at all. It won’t even cover your gas, forget your time. And on top of that it’s an insult. How is Uber paying us 32 cents per mile and 28 cents per minute ok?”
Since all drivers for Uber and Lyft are independent contractors, there’s nobody to advocate for them as whole. That’s why they need the PRO Act to pass. It will make it easier for them to form a union that specifically looks out further interests, since we all know the corporations that pay them certainly won’t.
So don’t use Uber or Lyft on July 21st and show up to one of the rallies if you can.
Learn more about the strike right here.