Thousands of Uber drivers in New York City are on a 24-hour strike after the company blocked pay raises they were set to receive this month, the protestors say.
The strike began at 12:01 a.m. Monday and ends at midnight, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, the union that represents about 15,000 Uber, Lyft and taxi cab drivers. The union is asking riders to boycott using Uber until the strike ends. Drivers are also scheduled to protest in front of Uber’s New York headquarters Monday afternoon.
The strike comes after New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission approved pay raises for Uber drivers last month. Uber has since then sued the commission, arguing that enacting those raises would cost the company between $21 million and $23 million per month and force Uber to increase fares by 10%, the company said in the suit.
The $21 million is an amount “Uber would never be able to recover from New York City or anyone else,” the company argued in its lawsuit filed earlier this month. Uber asked a New York judge to temporarily halt the raises until the case is settled, which a judge granted last Tuesday.
The taxi commission’s proposed pay increases would have allowed drivers to charge $1.34 per mile, up from $1.16 in March and $1.08 in February 2019, just before the coronavirus pandemic began.
Uber said its drivers in the Big Apple already get pay increases after their annual performance review. The increases are “tied to the rate of inflation” and “that’s one reason why driver pay has gone up 38.4% since 2019,” the company said Monday.
Lower gas prices
Uber said it’s challenging the taxi commission’s additional pay increases because they were proposed months ago when gas prices soared in New York City, “but gas prices have dropped substantially since their high earlier this year.”
“Drivers do critical work and deserve to be paid fairly, but rates should be calculated in a way that is transparent, consistent and predictable,” the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch on Monday.
Still, drivers told WCBS in New York that showing up en masse will hopefully push the company to rescind its legal fight against the raises.
“We expect thousands of drivers to show up today to say, ‘Uber, it’s Christmas,” Uber driver Michelle Dottin said. “Why would you stop a raise? Why would you just want to hold a raise?'”
Uber’s claims are about “a business model where workers work double the hours and get half the pay,” alleged Bhairavi Desai, the taxi union’s executive director.
“The bottom line is, Uber wants to pay nothing more to the drivers whose labor creates the company’s profits,” she told CBS MoneyWatch. “New York City drivers are mostly full-timers who invested in cars just for the job and who depend on this income to feed their families.”
Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.