Despite the fact that ride-share giant Uber was founded only 10 years ago, it’s hard to conceive of a life without being able to call a car from your phone. But in spite of our collective reliance on ride-sharing, drivers for Uber and Lyft are asking that you refrain from using the app for the time being. They’re striking, and the protest over pay and conditions kicked off early today, May 8th.
Ten cities across the country and several international locations are holding actions this Wednesday, including demands that customers log off of their apps for 24 hours to show support for those striking. So why are Uber and Lyft drivers striking and how will it affect your commute? We break it down.
Spearheaded by Rideshare Drivers United, drivers for Uber, Lyft, and Juno started a 24-hour strike at midnight on May 8th. This comes on the eve of Uber’s initial public offering (IPO), which values the company at roughly 90 billion dollars. Similarly, Lyft went public at 24 billion last month. Ten U.S. cities — Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles — are participating in the strike, along with international cities like London, Montreal, Melbourne, Sydney, and more.
While most of America was sleeping, the global labor action got its start at 7 a.m. local time in London, where the boycott will last until 4 p.m. Actions such as a picket line at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) started at noon PST.
On top of the multi-city boycott, people have gathered at Uber headquarters to protest.
There are drivers, representatives from labor unions, and allies.