(Image source from: Santa Fe New Mexican)
The drivers for ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft across the United States turned off their apps on Wednesday to protest declining wages.
The strike comes at a time when both the companies are raking in billions of dollars from investors.
Protests took place in the major United States cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, New York, and San Francisco.
The protests arrive just ahead of Uber’s initial public stock offering Friday. Uber hopes to raise $9 billion, putting the company’s valuation in excess of $91 billion.
It is not the first time the drivers of ride-hailing apps held protests. Strikes were planned in several cities ahead of Lyft’s IPO last month, although the disruption to riders appeared to be minimal then, too.
“Drivers built these billion dollar companies and it is just plain wrong that so many continue to be paid poverty wages while Silicon Valley investors get rich off their labor,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “All drivers deserve fair pay.”
The Guild organized a caravan of Uber drivers across the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday.
Some drivers went offline in New York between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., though it was still easy to locate a driver during rush hour near Wall Street in lower Manhattan.
Drivers in Los Angeles are participating in a 24-hour strike and picket line at Los Angeles International Airport.
By Sowmya Sangam