Uber Drivers Holding Nationwide Protest for Higher Pay


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Across the U.S., marching at airports, drivers for Uber the ride-hailing business have joined the Fight for $15 campaign demanding higher wages.

Uber drivers on Tuesday will unite forces with home care, airport and fast food workers in a protest nationwide demanding higher pay.

Called by the group a “Day of Disruption,” Drivers from Uber in over 24 cities that include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago will march in different airports and shopping centers carrying placards saying the Uber drivers are not arriving but striking.

The protest highlights the dilemma facing Uber as it tries to balance the needs of is thousands of drivers with its own business. With a value of over $68 billion, Uber has become the world’s highest valued company that is venture backed.

However, with its success in cutting the cost of rides in its competition against traditional taxis, Uber has reportedly experienced trouble making a profit.

Not like most other workers that are involved in the protests on Tuesday, drivers from Uber are not union members. In fact, the drivers are not even classified as Uber employees. Instead, Uber considers the drivers to be independent contractors.

That type of classification means Uber is not responsible for many costs that include paid sick days, health insurance, car maintenance as well as many others.

However, the ride-hailing business still sets the rates for drivers and commission that it receives, which is between 20% and 30%.

One Uber driver in California said all she wanted was a fair day’s pay for her hard work. Therefore, she was joining the airport, childcare, homecare, higher education and fast food workers who have led the way and show the nation how to make an economy that will work for all, not only a few at the very top.

Tuesday’s protests have been organized by the campaign “Fight for $15.” The campaign has led to a number of strikes against businesses demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right to form unions.

This campaign has been successful in convincing a number of businesses like Aetna, JP Morgan Chase and Facebook to increase pay to the requested $15 an hour or higher for every employee.

Uber said its drivers could make as much as $30 an hour, but most say they earn far less than that amount.

A study in November by an employee with Uber and one of its shareholders says that drivers for Uber average $20.19 an hour.

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