Drivers for ridesharing services Uber and Lyft are striking today in Los Angeles and parts of Orange County to protest recent cuts to their per-mile revenue.
Led by Rideshare Drivers United Los Angeles, an independent coalition with almost 3,000 members, Uber and Lyft drivers have organized a 25-hour strike from midnight on Monday until 1 a.m. on Tuesday. Drivers picketed Monday near Uber’s Greenlight Hub in Redondo Beach from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a rally at noon where drivers spoke about their experiences living on poverty wages in the rideshare industry.
Rideshare Drivers United – LA calls it “the largest coordinated action among rideshare drivers in the United States.”
Because rideshare drivers are classified as independent contractors and not employees, they generally do not receive protections or benefits and are unable to unionize.
Earlier this month, Uber and Lyft drivers were notified that their per-mile compensation rate had been reduced 25 percent from 80 cents to 60 cents. Facing already low wages and high operating costs including gas, maintenance and car payments, some believe the cut makes it impossible to make a living wage as a driver.
Rideshare Drivers United – LA and its members have urged Los Angeles to follow the template set by New York City, where local regulators enacted a $28 hourly minimum for rideshare drivers.
In 2017, drivers for the same companies organized a similar protest at Los Angeles International Airport, which was underwhelming due to difficulties coordinating.
Both Uber and Lyft are planning initial public offerings this year.