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If You Care About Fair Wages, Don’t Rideshare on Valentine’s Day

If You Care About Fair Wages, Don’t Rideshare on Valentine’s Day

Thousands of rideshare and delivery drivers in Los Angeles are going on strike on Valentine’s Day to seek fairer wages, safety protections and more job security from the popular ridesharing apps.

Rideshare Drivers United (RDU), a driver-led organization based in Los Angeles with over 5,000 members, will turn off apps like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash on Wednesday, Feb. 14. RDU says drivers “won’t stop fighting until we’ve won the fair pay and dignity we all deserve.”

And they’re not the only rideshare workers going on strike. Thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers have shared they will refuse rides to and from airports between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in 10 U.S. cities on Wednesday, Feb. 14 while on strike.

“Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers are TIRED of being mistreated by the app companies,” wrote Justice for App Workers, which represents about 130,000 drivers and delivery workers, in a blog post. “Across the country, in Austin, Chicago, Hartford, Miami, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island and Tampa, we’re not taking rides to or from any airport on February 14.”

Rideshare workers are the latest employees to strike for better wages. Last year, workers across a variety of industries — from autoworkers to Hollywood writers and actors — went on strike to demand fairer pay and safety protections. As the cost of living rises across the board, it’s become increasingly clear that employees want companies and organizations to know they aren’t comfortable being mistreated and cheated out of their hard-earned wages.

For years, rideshare drivers, who are considered independent contractors, have accused the companies of taking disproportionately high amounts as commissions. The cost of an Uber or Lyft ride skyrocketed throughout the pandemic, but workers did not receive a proportional share of the spoils. A report from the UCLA Labor Center found that Uber and Lyft took an even larger share of drivers’ profits as fares increased over the last several years. Between February 2019 and April 2022, the average driver pay increased by 31%, even though the passenger fare increased by 50%.

Reports also found that rideshare workers experienced an 8% decline in gross earnings per hour last year.

“A year into algorithmic pricing, drivers have seen an incredible decrease of our pay… whatever calculations and algorithms they’re using, it’s absolutely useless,” said Nicole Moore, president of the RDU union.

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