Uber drivers to strike ahead of IPO

Uber drivers to strike ahead of IPO

Uber drivers will strike in seven cities on Wednesday, just ahead of the rideshare company’s initial public offering (IPO), according to Gig Workers Rising, a campaign by app and platform workers.

Drivers plan to protest at noon on May 8 in Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and San Francisco, with San Francisco drivers also planning to turn off their apps for 12 hours and protest at the company’s headquarters, according to an announcement from the group.

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"While the $100bn IPO will make millionaires of many Uber investors and executives, Uber has cut the pay of drivers often leaving them earning less than minimum wage after expenses,” the statement reads. “Uber also denies drivers basic worker benefits such as vacation time, healthcare and retirement contributions.”

Uber drivers in San Francisco are demanding the company and its main competitor, Lyft, pay drivers a livable hourly rate and develop clearer protocols on wages, tips, deactivations and fare breakdowns, as well as benefits including workers comp, retirement, health care, paid time off and death benefits. Drivers also demand union recognition, according to the statement.

"Drivers are workers and we deserve a fair share of the millions that we make for Uber and Lyft each year. We are all driving to survive, but we work for a company that makes us fend for ourselves when times are tough,” Uber driver Mostafa Maklad said. “Uber and Lyft can choose to change; a living wage, healthcare, paid time off and worker protections aren't too much to ask from companies potentially worth more than $100 billion."

The company is reportedly seeking a valuation of between $80 and $90 billion in its IPO, which would make it the largest of 2019 thus far.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.