Media Advisory for August 26, 2019 – 10:00 AM
Contact: Roxane Marquez, (213) 705-1078
Mike Long, (213) 304-9777
UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS TO KICK OFF HISTORIC 3-DAY MOTOR PILGRIMAGE FROM LOS ANGELES TO SACRAMENTO IN SUPPORT OF ASSEMBLY BILL 5 AND A PATHWAY TO UNIONIZE
Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers to pay homage to California’s historic labor fight with a journey through the Grapevine, stopping in the heart of the Farmworkers movement in Delano and Fresno on Day 1 before moving on to the Bay Area and the Capitol; Drivers are calling for the passage of Assembly Bill 5, which would end employee misclassification by Silicon Valley giants, and for the right to form a democratic, driver-led union.
Los, Angeles CA — Uber and Lyft drivers organizing with Mobile Workers Alliance (MWA) and Gig Workers Rising (GWR) are once again mobilizing to roll into the Capitol in support of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) and unionization rights after a 3-day journey with stops throughout the state. The historic 3-day motor pilgrimage will include stops in Delano, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento, where drivers will meet with hundreds of community activists and labor allies from across the Golden State. The pilgrimage is forging ahead right as AB 5 moves through the California State Senate, putting unprecedented pressure on Uber and Lyft as the bill’s deadline for passage approaches.
Day 1 of the motor pilgrimage will see hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers take off from Downtown Los Angeles in a massive sendoff event, joined by clergy, community and labor organizations, and the Fight for $15.
Later in the day, drivers will stop in the City of Delano for a powerful worker exchange and lunch between workers seeking their own union, and those represented by the United Farm Workers (UFW). The pit stops in Delano and then Fresno, home to thousands of farm workers represented by the United Farm Workers (UFW), mirror the historic 340-mile pilgrimage that the late labor leader Cesar Chavez led to the steps of the Capitol to draw national attention to the plight of farm workers in 1966.
After the monumental journey through the Central Valley, the pilgrimage will move to the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday, August 20 for Day 2 which will feature California-wide protests outside of Uber Headquarters. This will be the first time that MWA and GWR drivers from across the state will bring their hundreds-strong motor caravan to the corporate giant’s home base, sounding the alarm on the plight of Uber and Lyft drivers — and to demand the companies stop their campaign against workers’ rights.
The motor pilgrimage is scheduled to arrive in Sacramento on Wednesday August 28 for Day 3, culminating in a grand finale on the steps of the California State Capitol with a boisterous call for AB5 and a union.
WHAT: Send off for 3-day motor pilgrimage from Los Angeles to the State Capitol in support of Assembly Bill 5 and union rights for Uber and Lyft drivers
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers, Gig Workers, Clergy, Labor and Community Allies
WHEN: Monday, August 26, 2019 starting at 10:00AM
WHERE: SEIU Local 721, 1545 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90017
VISUALS: Uber and Lyft driver vehicles with car flags and signs, L.A. clergy blessing drivers and their vehicles, rosaries and other religious symbols to protect drivers on the road, and super-sized floating banners demanding “AB 5 and a Union” and “Unions for All.”
Rideshare drivers throughout California and in Los Angeles County have been organizing for living wages, benefits, and the right to form a union at the same time as Assembly Bill (AB-5) makes its way through the State Legislature. AB-5, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and championed by the Mobile Workers Alliance, seeks to correctly classify rideshare drivers as employees and greatly expand their rights as workers, including a minimum wage, benefits, and basic job protections. Drivers have consistently urged state lawmakers to take even further action to ensure drivers secure a pathway to collectively bargain with Uber and Lyft through a driver-led union through the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
The motor pilgrimage arrives on the heels MWA drivers pushing the City of El Monte to become the first City in the United States to move forward to a $30/hr. wage of Uber and Lyft drivers. As it currently stands, rideshare drivers are misclassified as “independent contractors” by gig economy giants like Uber and Lyft, and forced to cover the companies’ costs of ferrying riders back and forth. A recent study on rideshare drivers conducted by the UCLA Labor Center pegged the average hourly wage for Uber drivers at $9.21 after driving expenses—an amount far below LA County’s minimum wage.
Assembly Bill 5, which is predicted to reach the governor’s desk in the fall, would force gig companies to correctly classify drivers as employees. The bill has been met with open resistance by Uber and Lyft, as well as the California Chamber of Commerce, while driver organizing groups like Mobile Workers Alliance and Gig Workers Rising have been campaigning across the state in support of the bill.
“We’re ready and prepared to take this fight for our employee and union rights to every part of California,” said Lyft driver Mike Robinson. “We know in hearts, and because of our faith, that history is on our side and that the larger public will join our cause.”
“The historic victories by union farmworkers provide a shining example of what we can win for ourselves and our families. We will forge a better future for every Uber and Lyft driver in the United States and win the union rights we rightfully deserve. We’re not backing down from the companies in our fight for economic justice.”
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