Published: Wed, May 08, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Uber & Lyft Drivers To Ruin Morning Commutes With Worldwide Strike

Uber & Lyft Drivers To Ruin Morning Commutes With Worldwide Strike

In anticipation of a national strike by Uber and Lyft drivers Wednesday, airport officials are reminding local travelers about Logan's other transportation options, such as the Logan Express bus and the MBTA's Blue and Silver lines (the latter of which is free for those departing the airport).

Both Lyft and Uber set aside some of their shares for drivers as part of their offerings.

Drivers for ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft planned to turn off their apps Wednesday to protest what they say are declining wages at a time when both companies are raking in billions of dollars from investors.

Numerous drivers' coalitions were planning actions, including Rideshare Drivers United.

Lyft, which says it has almost 40% of the USA ride-hailing market, said increased demand helped push revenue to $776 million in the quarter, up 95% from a year earlier and above analysts' average estimate of $739.4 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. "Are they actually representing the majority of the drivers?" he said.

The New York drivers' demands include greater job security, higher incomes and regulated fare for rides. "Whether it's being able to track your earnings or stronger insurance protections, we'll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers". In Uber's S-1, the form the company filed with the SEC in order to go public, the company admitted "significant" driver dissatisfaction that will likely rise as take-home pay continues to decrease.

"Uber estimates that 15 percent of their revenues come from airport pickups" said Karim Bayumi, a Lyft driver who frequently works at the Los Angeles airport.

"There is no benefit in driving for Uber.my life was much better just as a cook", said 26-year-old Raut.


"In the beginning, it was 25 percent and now it's nearly 49 percent", he said.

FILE - This Tuesday, June 12, 2018, file photo shows the Uber app on a phone in NY.

Yaseen Aslam, the secretary of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union's private hire drivers' branch, said: "Since Uber arrived to the United Kingdom in 2012, it has progressively driven down pay and conditions in the minicab sector to the point where many drivers are now being pushed to work over 60 hours a week just to get by".

When companies go public, it usually means big money for executives, and sometimes nice payouts for employees.

While Uber has also cited studies showing its USA drivers were earning between $18-$20 per hour, a 2018 analysis by the Economic Policy Institute came to somewhat different conclusions. In other cities, like Philadelphia, driver groups will hold protests and press conferences about working conditions under the rideshare companies.

Drive United said the action was in solidarity with protests in the U.S. and other areas of the world where drivers struggle with the independent contractor model. Like some other gig-economy companies, the two have long argued their drivers are independent contractors.

As tokens of goodwill, the companies have offered drivers who meet certain thresholds cash bonuses ahead of going public.

Financial experts anticipate Uber will raise $9 billion when it goes public on Friday.

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