Uber, Lyft, DoorDash drivers in the US to strike on Valentine’s Day for fair pay

By Thomson Reuters Feb 12, 2024 | 11:34 AM

By Akash Sriram

(Reuters) – Thousands of drivers for ride-sharing platforms Uber, Lyft and food delivery app DoorDash will strike across the United States on Valentine’s Day seeking fair pay, drivers’ groups said on Monday.

The strike call is the first since Uber and Lyft went public in 2019. Drivers will picket outside airports and Uber offices, two of the groups said.

The strikes are set to take place about a week after Lyft said it would pay the difference if drivers made less than 70% of what riders paid after external fees each week.

“We are constantly working to improve the driver experience,” Lyft, which is set to report quarterly results on Tuesday, told Reuters on Monday.

The drivers, considered independent contractors, have accused the platforms of taking disproportionately high amounts as commissions.

The Justice For App Workers coalition, representing about 130,000 drivers and delivery workers, said its drivers would not provide rides to and from airports between 11 am and 1 pm in 10 U.S. cities.

“By not paying drivers a livable wage, drivers are barely able to afford the bare necessities,” said Shantwan Humphrey, a driver in Dallas, Texas.

While many drivers sign up with these firms to supplement their income from other jobs, some drive full time for the platforms.

“A year into algorithmic pricing, drivers have seen incredible decrease of our pay… whatever calculations and algorithms they’re using, it’s absolutely useless,” Nicole Moore, president of the California-based Rideshare Drivers United union, told Reuters on Sunday.

In 2023, Uber drivers’ monthly average gross earnings fell 17.1%, while those of Lyft drivers increased 2.5%, according to Gridwise, which analyzes gig mobility data.

“Driver earnings remain strong, and as of Q4 2023, drivers in the U.S. were making about $33 per utilized hour,” Uber said. It said most of its drivers were satisfied with what they earned.

DoorDash did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)