Dozens of Uber and Lyft Drivers Will Take to Lyft Hub to Demand Their Fair Share, Not Fear Tactics from Silicon Valley Giants; Action Comes Just Days After Uber and Lyft Sent In-App Messages, Emails Pressuring Drivers to Oppose Pro-Worker Legislation
Los Angeles, CA — Dozens of Uber and Lyft drivers will take over a Lyft Hub and host a “Drivers Speak for Ourselves” press conference on Wednesday morning to denounce misleading petitions being circulated by the rideshare companies. Last week, both Uber and Lyft attempted to pressure drivers by using empty promises and scare tactics into opposing Assembly Bill 5, legislation that would expand rights and protections for drivers in California through mass emails and in-app push notifications. The petition language threatens drivers with less flexibility should the legislation pass.
Drivers will call on the companies to cease this underhanded attempt to manipulate already exploited drivers into being lobbyists and to instead give drivers a real seat at the table. The drivers will also reiterate their demands for a $30 an hour wage – a $15 per hour base wage plus $15 to cover rideshare expenses, a rollback of Uber’s recent rate cut, an end to arbitrary deactivations, and real workers’ rights.
WHAT: Lyft Hub Takeover and “Drivers Speak for Ourselves” Press Conference
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers
WHEN: Wednesday, June 19, 2019 starting at 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Lyft Hub, 662 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
VISUALS: Uber and Lyft drivers driving decorated cars with pro-worker signage, including Mobile Workers’ Alliance car flags and signs.
Background: Over the past week and a half, Uber and Lyft have embarked on a protracted messaging blitz, notably publishing a joint op-ed by the CEO of Uber and the co-founders of Lyft in the San Francisco Chronicle and pushing a petition to drivers asking them to lobby against legislation that would expand their rights as employees.
These actions are transparent responses to the imminent passage of California Assembly Bill 5, which would correctly classify rideshare drivers as employees and greatly expand their labor protections, including a living wage, benefits and the power to come together to collectively bargain.
The petition in question attempts to manipulate drivers into voicing opposition to AB5 by claiming that it could “threaten your access to flexible work with Uber” and similar claims about losing autonomy as drivers. In reality, the bill does nothing of the sort and any changes in flexibility would come from the companies themselves, not the state.
The companies’ public relations offensive comes just weeks after hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers took over an Uber hub in Central Los Angeles to demand a $30 an hour living wage — ensuring a $15 take home after expenses, basic workplace standards, and the freedom to organize without retaliation or harassment.
“With lackluster IPOs, a rise in driver militancy and a coming state crackdown on their mass exploitation of tens of thousands of drivers, Uber and Lyft are scrambling to do anything to maintain their fundamentally broken business model,” Mobile Workers Alliance Driver Organizer Konstantine Anthony said. “The fact that they’re asking us to be their lobbyists – who get paid hundreds of dollars an hour – while most drivers make less than minimum wage shows just how little they think of the people who make their business work. We’re fed up with being seen as disposable and it’s time for a real seat at the table with real decision making power.”
Contact: Mike Long, (213) 304-9777, firstname.lastname@example.org
Roxane Marquez, (213) 705-1078, Roxane.Marquez@seiu721.orgDownload PDF