Your Uber Is Not Here: Drivers Strike, Rally Nationwide Ahead Of IPO

REDONDO BEACH CA- MARCH 25 Driver and strike organizer Nicole Moore speaks during a one-day strike against Uber and Lyft in front of an Uber office. Over 200 drivers marched with signs and protested a recent 25% deduction in pay for Uber drivers

Your Uber Is Not Here: Drivers Strike, Rally Nationwide Ahead Of IPO

Uber and Lyft drivers are planning a strike Wednesday.

According to the CNet report, Uber filed last month for what could be one of the largest technology IPOs.

Many drivers want better pay from Uber rival Lyft Inc as well.

Uber has reported that its drivers have earned more than $78.2 billion on the platform since 2015, and $1.2 billion in tips.

Today in New York's Lauren Scala also reports on Amazon Go coming to NY and a suit against Conagra foods. According to Uber's IPO filing, reclassifying its drivers as employees "would require us to fundamentally change our business model, and consequently have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition".

"It's really hard to figure out how much you're actually making at the end of the day, especially after all your expenses", said Moira Muntz, a spokeswoman for the Independent Drivers' Guild, which represents 70,000 ride-hail drivers in New York City. In a statement, United Kingdom organizer Yaseen Aslam said Uber's IPO would amount to an "unprecedented worldwide orgy of greed as investors cash in on one of the most abusive business models ever to emerge from Silicon Valley".

Mahboob Alam, who has been an Uber driver for four years, said: "It's not right if people like Travis make many more billions and drivers have to work longer and longer hours".

"I'm striking because Uber has broken their promises to drivers time and again", said Syed Ali, an Uber driver and member of the striking New York Taxi Workers Alliance, in a statement.

The company's ability to attract and retain drivers will continue to be important if it wants to keep customers happy with fast pickup times.

Uber said it had made a number of improvements in benefits, including providing free insurance and telephone support for "qualifying drivers". But the companies have also lowered fares, which often means a reduction in drivers' take-home pay.

Drivers who will be logging off have the backing of labor organizations like the New York Taxi Workers' Alliance, the L.A. -based group Rideshare Drivers United, and Working America. Drivers are seeking more job security, higher wages and better regulation of fares.

These companies depend on a large pool of cheap labor to sustain that growth, but, as evidenced by the fact that hundreds of drivers will strike on Wednesday, workers don't feel that their role in the company's growth is being adequately recognized or compensated. Lyft declined to respond to inquiries about what its Utah drivers had planned for Wednesday.

"Lyft drivers' hourly earnings have increased over the last two years, and they have earned more than $10 billion on the Lyft platform", the spokesman said.

Uber said previous year it would double down on India investments after it sold its Southeast Asia business to Singapore's Grab Holdings.

Drivers in Los Angeles are participating in a 24-hour strike and picket line at Los Angeles International Airport.

"Drivers are at the heart of our service ─ we can't succeed without them", an Uber spokesperson wrote.

For both Uber and Lyft, registered drivers are not classified as employees; instead, they are considered independent contractors.

Uber has offered early drivers IPO bonuses, the chance to invest in the company, and free online tuition to Arizona State University. NYC's strike will take place during morning rush hour, while LA drivers plan to strike for a full day, per NBC News.

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