- Ride-hailing drivers in New York City plan to lead a strike tomorrow ahead of Uber's anticipated initial public offering (IPO), according to an announcement from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA).
- Drivers from Lyft and other ride-hailing companies will join Uber drivers for a two-hour strike, from 7-9 a.m. ET, on Wednesday, followed by a rally at 1 p.m. The ride-hailing drivers' demands include job security, livable incomes and regulations to ensure more of the fare paid by riders goes to drivers.
- Driver strikes also will take place in other U.S. cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Uber is expected to price its IPO on Thursday and the company reportedly hopes for a valuation in the $80.5 billion to $91.5 billion range. The company reported a net loss in the first quarter this year and has yet to turn a profit. Rival ride-hailing company Lyft went public last month and its shares spiked on the first day of trading but have fallen 20% since then, reports CNBC.
"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," NYTWA executive director Bhairavi Desai said in a statement.
One of the NYTWA's demands is to end the practice of up-front trip pricing as well as passing regulations to cap ride-hailing companies' commission and guarantee that 80-85% of the fare goes to a driver. The drivers striking in cities besides New York want a minimum wage. In December, New York became the first city in the country to set a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers, following its city council's approval of a raft of new regulations last summer.
Lyft has been fighting New York's minimum wage, but a judge dismissed the challenge last week. Lyft said it did not reject the need for better driver pay, but that New York's rules would disproportionately favor Uber and hurt all other ride-hailing companies. Lyft and Uber both have been working around the negative image that ride-hailing drivers are underpaid; both have released media statements noting that driver pay has increased over the past couple years. And last week Uber expanded its driver rewards program to 20 new U.S. cities — in addition to the 10 where it already was available. The program offers rewards including discounted gas, cash-back deals and tuition coverage.