Sunday, May 26, 2019

‘Shame on Uber:’ Drivers on strike worldwide protesting ‘poverty wages’

"This is an act of solidarity with drivers across the country, and really across the world, who are suffering with poverty wages."

Image Credit: RideGuru

On Wednesday, days before Uber was set to go public, drivers of both ride-sharing companies, Uber and Lyft, went on strike across the globe. The drivers are standing in solidarity to protest the “poverty wages” and weak worker protections.

Strikes are planned in all major cities around the world including the United States, Brazil, Australia, Chile. Nigeria, Costa Rica, and Nairobi, according to the New York Taxi Work Alliance (NYTWA).

“This is an act of solidarity with drivers across the country, and really across the world, who are suffering with poverty wages,” Bhairavi Desai from the NYTWA said

The drivers are calling on Uber specifically to give driver what they want instead of investors.

“The gig economy is all about exploiting workers by taking away our rights. It has to stop. Uber is the worst actor in the gig economy,” Sonam Lama, an Uber driver and member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), said.

In what’s being called the largest global work stoppage by ride-sharing drivers, the global strike started on Wednesday morning and will continue into Thursday, Common Dreams reported. Drivers of both companies are encouraging the public to stand in solidarity with them and not use either Uber or Lyft for the day.

A large rally is schedule outside Uber’s headquarters located in San Francisco with several other demonstrations and protests taking place at the company’s regional offices across the country, Common Dreams reported.

“Our expenses keep going up. Meanwhile, these companies are getting rich,” Kevin Raghu, a Lyft driver and NYTWA member, said. “We are asking for our fair share and for job security.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood with drivers of Uber and Lyft supporting the strike by saying that “they deserve a living wage and decent benefits,” not pay cuts.

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