At a Rally Thursday, Drivers Will Sound the Alarm on Lyft’s Recent Move Allowing LA-Area Customers to Share Rides with Other Passengers. Workers Will Demand an End to Pandemic Policies that Put Profit Over Lives.
Los Angeles – Drivers with the Mobile Workers Alliance will rally Thursday at Lyft’s driver center near LAX and demand the company halt its “shared rides” program that was restarted recently in certain pockets of the LA region.
At the action, drivers will raise concerns about relaunching the service — which allows customers to select cheaper rides if they share them with other passengers — as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly in the LA area due to the highly infectious Omicron variant.
Lyft’s decision to restart shared rides leaves drivers at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. COVID-19 guidelines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration state that rideshare services should “[l]imit the number of passengers drivers can transport at a single time.” And many drivers say they would prefer to cap the number of passengers in their cars because of Omicron’s high transmissibility.
Even if an infection doesn’t lead to serious health issues for drivers, it could lead to prolonged, unpaid periods out of work. Gig companies like Uber and Lyft spent more than $220 million in 2020 campaigning for Proposition 22 — a voter measure that passed in November that year that misclassified gig drivers as “independent contractors.” Because drivers are not considered employees of Lyft, they are ineligible for protections like paid sick leave or workers’ compensation if they are infected with COVID-19.
At the rally, drivers will also call on Lyft to finally prioritize its workers, properly classify them as employees, and start providing them with the health protections, rights, and fair pay they deserve.
- Who: Gig drivers with the Mobile Workers Alliance.
- What: Rally with drivers sharing personal stories and speaking out against the relaunch of the shared rides program.
- When: 10 a.m. Thursday, February 3, 2022
- Where: Los Angeles Lyft Driver Center, 5223 W. Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA 90045
- Visuals: Drivers will hold pro-driver signs, flags, and banners. Cars will be decorated with pro-worker signage.
Mobile Workers Alliance is part of a coalition of over 24,000 drivers statewide who are responsible for the billions that companies like Uber, Lyft, and their investors pocket every year. We’re uniting to win our union and a better life for ourselves and our loved ones.
Contact: Tim Sandoval, Tim.Sandoval@seiu721.org, 213-218-5855.