Drivers to Learn How to Defend Themselves Against Physical Violence While at Work; Will Demand Uber and Lyft Provide Cabin View Cameras and Real Workplace Protections on the Job
Los Angeles – Following reports of rampant violence towards Uber and Lyft drivers – including a violent physical attack on a New York City (NYC) Uber driver that left him in a coma for 25 days – members of the Mobile Workers Alliance (MWA) are jumping into action to host preventive self-defense classes for all Uber and Lyft drivers in the Los Angeles area.
The attack in New York is hardly an isolated incident. Rideshare drivers here in the Los Angeles region, organizing with Mobile Workers Alliance, report of similar situations on the job. Even worse, Uber and Lyft have refused to step up to offer even basic protections to drivers, allowing passengers who’ve perpetuated assaults to continue using their platforms, even after being reported by drivers.
Manuel Ramos, a 4-year driver for both Uber and Lyft, was violently attacked and ultimately robbed during a ride for Lyft in February.
“I was transporting 4 passengers on the freeway when I was attacked by a passenger in the backseat,” said Manuel Ramos. “This attack came out of nowhere and could have caused a really bad accident on the freeway. Thank god I was able to pull over into a gas station and safely get out of the car to call for help,” he added. “When I returned to my vehicle, I noticed that my family’s rent money was missing from the glove compartment.”
A shaken-up Ramos went on leave for three days without pay, despite being attacked on the job. Because both Uber and Lyft refuse to comply with California labor laws and properly classify drivers as employees, drivers work without proper workplace safety protections and run the risk of being attacked without adequate recourse.
In addition to getting self-defense training, drivers will be demanding that Uber and Lyft provide in-cabin cameras for every driver. To date, no arrests have been made in the Ramos case.
WHAT: Self-Defense Classes for Uber and Lyft drivers
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers, including drivers who have been attacked while on the job
WHEN: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 starting at 11:00AM
WHERE: 420 Bernard Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
VISUALS: Men and women learning self-defense in a motorized vehicle setting, banners and visuals promoting self-defense. Self-defense will be led by certified instructor.
Mobile Workers Alliance, a group of more than 15,000 Southern California drivers, has been fighting for drivers to be correctly classified, taking bold action to support the passage of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), including a three day, 1,000-mile caravan from Los Angeles to the Bay Area to Sacramento and back last August. With AB 5 now established law, MWA drivers are calling on state officials to enforce it and demanding that gig companies like Uber and Lyft correctly classify drivers as employees.
Contact: Mike Long, (213) 304-9777Download PDF