Media Advisory for Wed., Aug. 7, 2019 – Uber and Lyft Drivers to Call on the El Monte City Council to Establish a $30/Hr Living Wage for Rideshare Drivers

Dozens of Uber and Lyft Drivers Will Descend on El Monte City Hall to Call on the City of El Monte to Establish a $30/Hour Living Wage Ordinance for Rideshare Drivers Within City Boundaries; $30/Hour Ordinance Would be the First in the United States

El Monte, CA — Uber and Lyft drivers are mobilizing to show up in force at the upcoming City of El Monte City Council meeting to demand a guaranteed $30/hour living wage for rideshare drivers within the City of El Monte.

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. As a result, the average rideshare driver earns far less than minimum wage after factoring in driving expenses. An El Monte rideshare driver wage ordinance would set a $30/hour floor for rideshare drivers in the city, with $15 for take home wages, and $15 to cover operating costs.

The El Monte City Council action arrives on the heels of the Mobile Workers Alliance (MWA) rideshare drivers making public calls in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco for a $30/hour living wage to adequately cover the cost of doing rideshare business.

For the past three years, MWA rideshare drivers have sounded the alarm on Uber and Lyft’s repeated rate cuts, the dangerously long hours, and the lack of basic job protections because of their misclassification as “contractors” rather than employees.

WHAT:           Uber and Lyft drivers to demand a $30/hour living wage for rideshare drivers in the City of El Monte.

WHO:             Uber and Lyft drivers, El Monte residents and San Gabriel Valley residents, and community leaders.

WHEN:           Wednesday, August 7, 2019 starting at 5:30 PM

WHERE:        El Monte City Hall, 11333 Valley Blvd, El Monte, CA 91731

VISUALS:       Uber and Lyft drivers will feature decorated cars with pro-$30/hr. and pro-Union insignia, including Mobile Workers Alliance car flags and signs.

Background: 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 labor rights, including a living wage, benefits, and basic job protections. Drivers have 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.

The public call for $30/hour in El Monte arrives at a time of growing driver discontent over Uber and Lyft’s race to the bottom through worker misclassification that enables the companies’ repeated rate cuts and unfair driver deactivations. Drivers organizing under the Mobile Workers Alliance banner have lobbied at the State Capitol in support of AB-5 and the right to form a union, and have protested outside of Uber headquarters, as well as Uber and Lyft offices and hubs across the state.

An El Monte $30/hour living wage city ordinance for rideshare drivers would be groundbreaking for California, and across the country. A recent study on rideshare drivers conducted by the Economic Policy Institute pegged the average hourly wage for Uber drivers, when compared to W-2 employees, at $9.21 after driving expenses—an amount far below LA County’s minimum wage.


Contact: Coral Itzcalli (213) 321-7332 or  Mike Long, (213) 304-9777

  Download PDF