By Gina Pollack and Emily Dugdale.
Hundreds of rideshare drivers are hitting for 25 hours at Ubers Redondo Beach Offices to request higher salaries after the rideshare company's latest percentage cut per kilometer
Organizers, Rideshare Drivers United Los Angeles ( RHU-LA) requests a reversal of a 25 percent payroll rate and requires all rideshare platforms, including Lift, to guarantee motorists a $ 28 per hour minimum, a gas fare surcharge and new vehicle emission standards.
The Group encourages customers to use public transport in solidarity during the 25-hour strike.
The organizers said Uber announced the new paychecks on March 1
But James Hicks, a Uber driver and organizational member of RHU-LA, said that rideshare drivers made their bread and butter from mileage, not time, and that the announcement took them by surprise.
"When we opened the app on March 11, there were new contract terms," Hicks said. "If you do not accept these terms, you cannot work. Many of us need to work because it is our full-time perspective, but we have no power to negotiate."
Drivers chanted "Get up, fight back" and carry characters with handwritten claims like "Restore 25 percent and dignity" and "Innovation without poverty." The protesters briefly closed Marina Avenue before police urged them back on the pavement.
"It's destructive," said Mateo Nagassi, one of the protests. He lives in the center of L.A. and has been running for Uber for five months. "We just have to organize as every young industry has done. Someone has to hold on to us."
Jacklyn is a @Uber driver who also rents a car from the company. But she says she loses 1/3 of her salary with the car's rental fee and car maintenance.
– Emily Elena Dugdale (@eedugdale) March 25, 2019
The protest comes at Uber's heel and Lyft is preparing on launching competing stock market listings, which is likely to make investors very wealthy rich . Meanwhile, many lifts and Uber drivers say they almost can't make ends meet, especially in a city with high cost of living like LA
Several protesters said it's hard to tell if their earnings have dropped significantly since 25 percent cut, because the change happened so recently. "I have not made a comparison of whether wage change seems better or worse," said Daniel Nolte, who runs Uber and Lyft for 8-12 hours a day and decided not to strike. "This week was pretty typical compared to last week."
However, the cuts are part of a pattern of falling wages for drivers nationwide, it has been taking place in recent years.
"When I started working for Lyft two years ago, I would put 8-10 hours a night and bring home $ 150- $ 200," said Nicole Moore, one of the Rideshare Drivers United organizers. "I put in 10 hours last Friday night. I took home $ 90."
"Every time you care about a driver's salary, you care about their livelihood," said Harry Campbell, founder of The Rideshare Guy via email. "I hear from drivers constantly wanting to organize a strike and protest against Uber, but unfortunately it is a difficult proposal. Outside of places like NYC, where there are many more full-time drivers, it's difficult to get the word out among drivers since most not on social media, and that is usually where these strikes are organized. "
In a statement, a Uber spokesman told LAist that they are changing per minute, per-mile and minimum prices that will make overall prices comparable to where they was in September. But the company does not provide any details on what these prices will be.
Strike started on Monday at midnight and is scheduled to last until. 13.00 Tuesday.