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Low wages and lack of job security: Uber and Lyft drivers launch strike

Across the United States, Uber and Lyft drivers launched a strike protesting their low wages and lack of job security. They argued that Uber and Lyft profit off the back of their employees, albeit leaving them with low wages, poor working hours and limited access to full-time employment benefits.

The strike was timed so it would coincide with Uber’s IPO, which has subsequently performed well below par and expectations. Drivers in New York launched their strike at 7am on Wednesday morning (May 8) and continued until 9am. Approximately 500 drivers were off the road during that time, however, it was less than 1% of the 120 000 hire drivers in the city. Similar strikes occurred in Georgia and Connecticut.

Uber’s sharing economy model has been incredibly successful financially. However, the mandate has not been without its share of controversies. Indeed, ride-sharing services have been largely criticised for their lack of regulation ensuring the safety of users and drivers. Inadequate background checks of drivers and data breaches regarding private user information have been at the forefront of ethical debates regarding ride-sharing services.

With Uber’s popularity only growing, one can expect stronger regulations as a way of supporting embattled hire car drivers.