Reports suggest of protests by Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow on Wednesday. Drivers from the US cities of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington DC will also participate in the strike over pay and work conditions. These protests come as a consequence the listing of the company shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Uber drivers took to the street by announcing they were “at the heart of our service”.
The United Private Hire Drivers said it will stage a nine-hour boycott of the app between 07:00 and 16:00. The organization is a branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), and it is expecting a large number of drivers to participate, close to a hundred. On the other hand in the US, members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance will strike from 07:00 to 09:00 local time. Moreover, Uber drivers will be joined by members working for Lyft and other taxi-booking apps.
James Farrar, chairman of the United Private Hire Drivers said, “It is the drivers who have created this extraordinary wealth but they continue to be denied even the most basic workplace rights”. He also pleads the public to not cross the digital picket line on May 8 but to stand in solidarity with deprived drivers who have made Uber successful. These drivers unions strive to curb the commission going to the companies. The IWGB in the UK said it would like commissions to be reduced from 25% to 15%. Furthermore, it also aims to escalate the fares to £2 a mile from £1.25.
In a response, Uber argued that it is transparent when it comes to pay. Moreover it shed light on the fact that drivers have earned more than $78bn (£59.7bn) since 2015. The company also gave in on the $1.2bn tips to drivers, since tipping was introduced on Company’s software in July 2017. In the previous month Uber also warned it “may not achieve profitability” in details of its plan to list its shares.