Media Advisory for November 6, 2019 – 10:30 A.M.
Contact: Roxane Marquez, (213) 705-1078
Coral Itzcalli, (213) 321-7332
UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS PROTEST FIRST DAY OF IPO CASH OUT AT UBER CO-FOUNDER’S BEVERLY HILLS HOME; DRIVERS TO DELIVER THE 2019 POVERTY JOB CREATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Hundreds of Uber and Lyft Drivers Will Descend on the Posh Beverly Hills Neighborhood to Protest Uber’s Poverty Wages and its Assault on California’s New Labor Law; Similar Protests Expected at Homes and Offices of Bay Area Investors, Including Google Ventures
Beverly Hills, CA — On the first day executives and shareholders can cash out on Uber stock, hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers organizing with Mobile Workers Alliance are heading to Beverly Hills to protest the company’s sham business model, which leaves drivers in poverty while making Silicon Valley executives billions. Drivers and community allies are planning to personally deliver Uber co-founder and board member Garrett Camp the “2019 Poverty Job Creator of the Year” award at his recently purchased $72 million home in the posh Holmby Hills area of Beverly Hills.
Gig executives are poised to cash out their IPO billions while at the same time continuing to drive down worker pay, leaving many drivers sleeping in their cars and unable to provide for their families. As Uber continues to chase profitability and expansion at all costs, the number of drivers experiencing homelessness has skyrocketed. In June, the Los Angeles Times estimated that more than 16,000 people in Los Angeles County live in their cars, a common solution for rideshare drivers struggling to make ends meet.
The protest arrives on the heels of Uber and Lyft, and other platform-based employers like Doordash, announcing their plans to launch a deceptive ballot initiative that will overturn the recently passed Assembly Bill (AB-5), and drive down wages to historic lows. The landmark legislation authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom this September closes the loopholes used by gig companies to misclassify drivers as so-called “independent contractors,” allowing them to skirt basic labor laws such as minimum wage, paid sick days, and unemployment insurance.
The actions are part of a growing movement of rideshare drivers to call attention to the greed at the top of gig corporations. Wednesday’s action is a part of planned protests by the We Drive Progress coalition, a movement of over 20,000 Uber and Lyft drivers organizing to form unions with Mobile Workers Alliance and Gig Workers Rising. On November 6th, Bay Area drivers will protest at both the residences and offices of two other Uber investors in Silicon Valley. Uber executives are expecting a record windfall from the IPO cash out, despite a new UC Berkeley Labor Center study pegging the real wage under the proposed Uber/Lyft ballot initiative at $5.64 /hr.
WHAT: Uber and Lyft drivers to hold press conference in Downtown Beverly Hills, and followed by a motorcade through Rodeo Drive to Uber Co-Founder Garret Camp’s house
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers, UC Berkeley Labor Center Researcher Michael Reich, and community and labor allies
WHEN: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 starting at 10:30 AM
WHERE: Press Conference at Beverly Gardens Park, 9439 Santa Monica Blvd, Trousdale Estates, CA 90201
VISUALS: Uber and Lyft drivers will feature decorated cars, signage critical of Uber and Garret Camp, and Mobile Workers’ Alliance car flags and signs. Motor march down Rodeo Drive and into Beverly Hills immediately following press conference.
The November 6th actions arrive at a time when Uber and Lyft drivers are gaining momentum from their triumph in the State Capitol with the passage of the landmark legislation AB-5.
Throughout 2019, rideshare drivers built their powerful movement through We Drive Progress, a coalition of over 20,000 rideshare drivers organizing with Mobile Workers Alliance and Gig Workers Rising. They staged massive protests at the companies’ offices and at the state’s busiest airports, lobbied at the State Capitol. and took their call for AB 5 and a union rideshare drivers up and down the Golden State in a historic, 3-day, 500-mile caravan.
Currently, Uber is taking 50-60% of driver fares, leaving drivers sleeping in their cars and unable to provide for their families. Drivers are making it clear that they won’t let the greedy corporations and billionaire executives steal away their recent AB-5 victory by grinding workers into poverty.
“It’s shameful that these wealthy bosses would rather waste millions of dollars on trying to buy their way out of following the rules, instead of just being fair to their workers. It is clear to workers like myself that every bit of profit that they have earned has come at the expense of working people in California being pushed to work twelve to fourteen hours days for less than minimum wage, without overtime pay and with all business expenses passed on to us individual drivers,” says Uber driver Linda Valdivia.