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Uber & Lyft Drivers Plan To Strike Wednesday, Then Rally Ahead Of Uber's IPO

Published Tuesday, May 7, 2019
by Sara Ashley O'Brien/CNN Business
Uber & Lyft Drivers Plan To Strike Wednesday, Then Rally Ahead Of Uber's IPO

(NEW YORK CITY) - Rideshare Drivers are set to Strike Wednesday (March 8th) and then hold a rally - this time, ahead of Uber's impending IPO.

Drivers in New York City are expected to protest by logging off ride-hail apps for two hours, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA).  Drivers in other cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, are also expected to Strike.

The Drivers intend to send a message to Uber, which is reportedly slated to begin trading as a public company next Friday: They want livable incomes, job security and regulated fares.

That's according to the NYTWA, which represents 21,000 Professional Drivers - including Drivers for Uber and Lyft - in New York City, Uber's largest market.

The drivers also plan to rally outside the Long Island City offices for both companies on Wednesday afternoon.

Uber and Lyft have built their businesses on the backs of Drivers, but the competition means engaging in pricing wars, using discounted prices to attract riders.

Both companies are bleeding money and what drivers make is the biggest cost they can control.

As tokens of goodwill, the companies have offered Drivers who meet certain thresholds cash bonuses ahead of going public, but it hasn't been enough to appease the broader pool of Workers.

Drivers similarly went on Strike ahead of Lyft's IPO to voice concerns over recent pay cuts.

Notably, New York City is the first and only market to have implemented a Minimum Wage Law for Ride-Hail Drivers.

Under the new policy, which went into effect on February 1st, Drivers are supposed to earn a Minimum Take-Home Wage of $17.22 per hour.

That's the ride-hailing equivalent of a $15 minimum wage, accounting for the fact that Drivers have to cover payroll taxes and don't get paid time off.

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