7/19/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Ride-Hailing Drivers Protest in San Francisco

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San Francisco-based drivers for ride-hailing rivals Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are conducting a work stoppage today to protest pay rates and other contract terms. 

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San Francisco-based drivers for ride-hailing rivals Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are conducting a work stoppage today to protest pay rates and other contract terms.

In an open letter to executives at the two companies, drivers declare they “need a seat at the table as equal partners” in setting compensation and other benefits. The letter was penned by representatives of two groups of drivers: Gig Workers Rising and Mobile Workers Alliance.

The groups seek higher hourly wages, healthcare benefits, paid time off and worker compensation. Other demands include clearer protocols on wages, tips, deactivations and how fares are calculated.

Drivers also want to be designated as employees—including the right to unionize—rather than as independent contractors. California’s state Senate currently is debating a bill that could allow drivers to be classified as employees.

Uber drivers have staged limited work stoppages in the past, including one that was held just prior to the company’s initial public stock offering in May.

Last December, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission approved an hourly minimum wage for drivers of app-based ride-hailing services in the city—the first such measure in the U.S. Drivers will receive at least $17.22 per hour after expenses such as fuel and tolls, whether or not they have a passenger.