Uber and Lyft drivers at 10 US airports are planning to strike over midday on Wednesday.
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Uber and Lyft drivers are planning a midday strike at some US airports on Wednesday.The action targets some major hubs, including Newark Liberty and Chicago’s O’Hare.It’s part of a broader strike to draw attention to gig workers’ pay and issues like deactivations.
Good luck if you’re hoping to get an Uber or Lyft on your way home from the airport on Valentine’s Day.
That’s because drivers in 10 cities say they won’t be working between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday. It’s part of a nationwide effort among rideshare drivers trying to bring attention to problems they say they face on the apps, from low pay to having their accounts suddenly deactivated.
“We’re sick of working 80 hours/week just to make ends meet, being constantly scared for our safety, and worrying about being deactivated with the click of a button,” Justice for App Workers, a group representing 130,000 rideshare and delivery gig workers, said on its website about the strike.
The strike will target multiple major airports, including Newark Liberty International Airport outside of New York City as well as Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
The Valentine’s Day Strike also will affect airports in Austin, Texas; Hartford, Connecticut; Miami; Orlando, Philadelphia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; and Tampa, Florida, according to Justice for App Workers.
But Uber brushed off concerns about the strike affecting customers.
“These types of events have rarely had any impact on trips, prices, or driver availability, and we expect the same tomorrow,” an Uber spokesperson told Business Insider.
“That’s because the vast majority of drivers are satisfied,” the spokesperson added, citing an estimate that Uber drivers made “about $33 per utilized hour” last quarter.
A spokesperson for Lyft pointed to recent changes that the company made for drivers, including guaranteeing Lyft workers at least 70% of what riders pay. “We are constantly working to improve the driver experience, which is why just this month we released a series of new offers and commitments aimed at increasing driver pay and transparency,” the spokesperson said.
Groups like Justice for App Workers have organized similar strikes in the US in recent years. But as independent contractors, Uber and Lyft drivers don’t have the same protections as full-time employees, including federal and state protections around organizing a union and work stoppages.
Gig workers have told BI that making money on apps like Uber, Instacart, Walmart Spark, and DoorDash has gotten harder over the past few years, especially as more people have started working on the apps.
It’s also common for gig workers to have their accounts deactivated without explanation by the companies they work for.
Recent laws in cities like New York and Seattle aim to raise pay and offer protections to drivers.
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