Lyft Nears All-Time Low on Massive Q1 Losses and Driver Strike

Fredrick Soto
May 9, 2019

Just days before Uber is set to make its "blockbuster" debut on the public market, ride-hailing drivers with both Uber and Lyft are going on strike across the globe on Wednesday to protest "poverty wages" and virtually non-existent worker protections.

The embattled drivers were seen picketing at airports, on bridges and even outside of Uber's headquarters in New York City, claiming they are being exploited and earning pennies on the dollar as massive companies rake in billions of dollars on Wall Street.

The drivers intend to send a message to Uber, which is slated to begin trading as a public company on Friday.

In March, Lyft went public with a $24 billion IPO.

In interviews in the metropolises of Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru, more than 35 drivers said discontent against Uber was growing.

The argument that Uber and Lyft are keeping a higher portion of each ride is reflected in the companies' own documents, though the companies' numbers are more favorable to drivers than those compiled by the drivers group.

Members of the European Parliament "approved minimum rights for workers with on-demand, voucher-based or platform jobs, like Uber or Deliveroo", the statement says.

Well, if you haven't really thought much about Uber's or Lyft's business models or about the drivers taking you to and fro, you're probably assuming, "Sure, they're not getting rich, but they make a decent wage; especially if they work full-time".

"Lyft drivers' hourly earnings have increased over the last two years, and they have earned more than $10 billion on the Lyft platform", the spokesman said.

"We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we're constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community". In other cities, like Philadelphia, driver groups will hold protests and press conferences about working conditions under the rideshare companies. The system keeps labor costs low, and-the companies argue-consumer prices are low as a result. The union would not specify how many drivers participated other than to say "dozens".

Money: "Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Striking This Week". Uber hopes to raise $9bn (£6.9bn) in new funds and is expected to be valued at up to $91.5bn when the valuation of the shares is announced on Thursday. She said ditching Uber on Wednesday would be a challenge, because they need to get to the airport.

Uber has acknowledged the risk of unhappiness among its drivers. Riders should anticipate surge pricing and longer wait times due to a possible shortage of drivers, they say.

For both Uber and Lyft, registered drivers are not classified as employees; instead, they are considered independent contractors. In other cities, organizers advised passengers to boycott the apps between certain hours in solidarity. But that number is certainly in dispute: According to an analysis from the think tank Economic Policy Institute, the actual wage drivers take home is much less.

Uber declined an interview for this story, but provided a brief statement via email.

"But the prospectus renewed questions about how sustainable Uber's business actually is".

Don Creery, another Uber driver, said the strike is "the culmination of years of pay being cut by constant rate reductions". Classified as independent contractors, they lack paid sick and vacation days and must cover their own expenses, such as auto maintenance and gasoline.

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