Some drivers for ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft shut down their apps Wednesday to protest what they refers as declining wages at a time when both companies are raking in billions from investors.
Demonstrations occurred in 10 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, along with some European places like London. But they did not seem to cause enough disruption and many riders were still able to hail a vehicle with ease.
The protests arrive just before Uber’s initial public stock offering Friday. Uber hopes to raise $9 billion, putting the firm’s valuation in excess of $91 billion.
It’s not the first time drivers for ride-hailing apps have staged protests. Strikes were prepared in several cities prior to Lyft’s IPO last month, although the disruption to riders seemed minimal that time, too. More cities are taking part in Wednesday’s protest.
“Drivers built these billion dollar companies and it is just plain wrong that so many continue to be paid poverty wages while Silicon Valley investors get rich off their labor,” stated Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “All drivers deserve fair pay.”