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Uber and Lyft drivers strike, seek passage of PRO Act

Ride-hailing drivers across the country executed a strike Wednesday, calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the PRO Act, a bill that would allow them to organize.

7/22/2021 1:09:00 AM

Uber and Lyft drivers were striking in 10 cities on Wednesday, including San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Denver and Baltimore.

Ride-hailing drivers across the country executed a strike Wednesday, calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the PRO Act, a bill that would allow them to organize.

In California, drivers say the promises Uber Technologies Inc UBER, +2.59%. and Lyft Inc. LYFT, +5.33% made last year during the companies’ record-breaking Proposition 22 campaign have fallen short. More than half of California voters passed the ballot initiative, which offered guaranteed earnings and health care stipends, allowing the companies to circumvent a state law that would’ve required them to treat drivers as employees instead of independent contractors. Now drivers in the state say they still lack decent pay and benefits, and are asking federal lawmakers to act so they can gain the right to join unions and collectively bargain.

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For more: Gig workers to see pay changes, customers to see higher prices after Prop. 22 passesAs Uber and Lyft acknowledge that prices for rides are high and that they don’t have enough drivers to meet rising demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some drivers stopped working Wednesday and converged at Uber headquarters in San Francisco, where protestors chanted “Prop. 22, somebody lied to you” Wednesday afternoon.

Drivers also took action in nine other cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Denver and Baltimore.See: Uber, Lyft drivers say new California law isn’t solving their health-care needs“The only job of a business is to make profit for their owners and stockholders,” Esterphanie St. Juste, a longtime driver and organizer with Rideshare Drivers United (RDU) in Los Angeles, told MarketWatch on Wednesday. “The PRO Act will give us our voice and give us the power to make changes.” headtopics.com

The drivers’ action comes ahead of a Senate committee hearing on HR 482 — also known as the Protect the Right to Organize Act, or PRO Act — scheduled for Thursday morning. The bill, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed in March, has so far fallen short of the support it needs to be taken up by the Senate.

For more: Gig work could change under Biden’s Labor secretary. Here’s howSt. Juste said Uber has reduced what it pays drivers out of the Los Angeles International Airport to 32 cents a mile. “Can you imagine being paid 32 cents for anything in the U.S., and with gas prices rising?” she said.

Brian Dolber, an associate professor at California State University, San Marcos who’s also an organizer with RDU, said drivers out of LAX were previously making 58 cents a mile. “Prior to that it was 80 cents per mile, and years before that it was $1.50,” Dolber said. “Long-term drivers have seen substantial decline in pay. These companies hooked people in where people were making a decent living, but without any legal protections, drivers saw their rates lowered repeatedly.”

Uber and Lyft pushed back Wednesday.“Drivers are busier now than they were even before the pandemic started,” a Lyft spokesman said. “In our top markets, drivers are making more than $30 an hour, substantially higher than pre-COVID.” An Uber spokeswoman said the median earnings for Uber drivers when they are on the app is $32.33 an hour. headtopics.com

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Both companies touted “driver independence” in their response to drivers urging lawmakers to pass the PRO Act.See: PRO Act, called ‘most important labor legislation in several generations,’ passes House Read more: MarketWatch »

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They better hurry up with self driving, im tired of waiting for my uber. Hard to believe that they are constantly reducing these folks earnings given the fact that basically everything, especially ⛽️ prices are through the roof!! Shameful greed, nothing more. How are they striking? Thought only union workers strike. Did not know these organizations turned union.

this is terrible news Will you just drive yourself everywhere now?

Uber and Lyft drivers are on strike today. What riders need to knowIf you were planning to rideshare on Wednesday, there may be delays. Here's more info on the driver strike jessica_roy

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Ford and Argo AI to launch self-driving cars with Lyft by the end of the yearSelf-driving rides with safety drivers will roll out this year in Miami by request and next year in Austin.\n Crossing my fingers. Hoping for failure. Why aren’t you giving this the same treatment you give Tesla ?

Uber and Lyft drivers are on strike today. What riders need to knowIf you were planning to rideshare on Wednesday, there may be delays. Here's more info on the driver strike jessica_roy

Student killed after taking car she mistook for Uber was victim of 'heinous' acts, prosecutor saysThe man accused of slaying South Carolina college senior Samantha Josephson, a 2019 crime that brought national attention to ride-hail safety, is on trial. Oh my gosh! Crime is getting out of hand worldwide!!! ☹️ Is there a murder that isn't a heinous act? Just saying 😢