Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER) and Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) drivers are preparing to launch strikes in cities across the U.S. over working conditions and pay ahead of Uber’s initial public offering this week, announced the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
On Wednesday, drivers in New York are planning to strike between 7 A.M. and 9 A.M., joining others in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the workers alliance said.
New York City app drivers are demanding job security, livable incomes, and regulate the far. Drivers are often worried over the possibility of losing their jobs as drivers, and even when drivers are working, many are complaining over the pay. Furthermore, drivers from Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via are demanding companies cap the commission, guaranteeing 80% to 85% fare to the driver.
Drivers are fearing over the lower income and the possibility of losing their jobs due to the push for driverless taxi services. In particular, Uber is heavily expanding towards the autonomous industry.
NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said, “Wall Street investors are telling Uber and Lyft to cut down on driver income, stop incentives, and go faster to Driverless Cars. Uber and Lyft wrote in their S1 filings that they think they pay drivers too much already. 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.”
Former Uber driver, Varinder Kumar complained that the company deactivated his account despite having a reputable track record. Kumar highlighted that he’s been a professional driver in New York City since 1992 and has maintained a 4.9 rating over 7,000 passengers he’s driven.
“I was driving full time for Uber to support my wife and two kids. I have one kid in high school and one in 5th grade. I drive for Lyft and Juno now but it’s so stressful to have no job security. Any day you can wake up and find yourself without a job and not know why. It’s not just me. It’s happened to so many other people I know.” said Kumar.
The strike between major ride hailing services in New York comes shortly before Uber’s IPO and Lyft’s financial results release.
Lyft is expected to release its quarterly financial results on Tuesday after the market closes. Uber is expected to launch its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange on May 9th, under the symbol “UBER.”