Uber drivers stage strike in Los Angeles over cuts in pay rates

The 25% per-mile cuts will lead to a loss of 20 cents per mile. The drivers picketed the office of Uber and demanded the withdrawal of the decision and sought a pay hike

April 01, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Uber strike USA
Uber drivers in Los Angeles, as part of a 24-hour strike. (Photo: Ruptly)

Uber drivers staged a one-day strike on Los Angeles on March 25, protesting the cuts in pay rates (25% per-mile) announced by the company in the area. The drivers, outraged at the decision, picketed the regional office of the ride hailing app in Los Angeles on Monday. The protesters said the cuts will reduce their income per mile from 80 cents to 60 cents. They have demanded the company scrap the pay cuts and asked for a significant pay rise too.

Vox reported that the strike comes at a pivotal moment for the ride-hailing industry. Uber and Lyft are preparing to launch Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), which will convert them into publicly traded companies. This will be a huge boost to a handful of early investors who will turn into millionaires overnight.

On the other hand, the drivers who are working for these ride hailing apps are finding it extremely difficult to make ends meet. As the drivers are working on a contract basis, Uber does not treat them as employees and the drivers are deprived of any benefits from the company. Various attempts at unionization have also been hindered.

Earlier, the taxi drivers in New York were successful in pressuring the authorities to implementing a minimum wage law from January for all taxi drivers, including those of ride hailing apps like Uber, Juno, Lyft and Via. A few months ago, Uber left the city of Barcelona after the local government imposed stringent regulations on the services in response to a strike by drivers of taxi services.