Hundreds of Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow have joined forces to stage a protest against the firm.
In what has been a nightmare week for the ride sharing app, who have seen their shares drop considerably from the $45 price they began trading at on Friday 10th May when the company made its stock market debut.
UK Uber drivers on strike were joined by drivers operating in the US cities of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington DC in protesting over wages and work conditions.
Lydia Hughes, branch co-ordinator of the United Private Hire Drivers Branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), joined Uber drivers in their strike.
“They’re going public and their founders are going to make billions off the hard work of Uber drivers who make the app run,” she told World Service radio. Drivers “are demanding rights, a minimum wage, holiday pay and there’s no reason they don’t deserve that.”
The union wishes to get rid of the commission ride-hailing apps take from their drivers. The IWGB are rallying for Uber’s commissions in the UK to be reduced from 25% to 15% and for fares to be increased to £2 a mile from about £1.25. Across the pond, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) are chasing greater job security. “
I’m striking for my kid’s future. I have a five-year-old son, and I drive for Uber to support him,” said Sonam Lama, a NYTWA member and Uber driver since 2015.
An Uber spokeswoman said:
“Drivers are at the heart of our service – we can’t succeed without them – and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road. “Whether it’s being able to track your earnings or stronger insurance protections, we’ll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.”
In 2016, a tribunal ruled drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam were Uber staff and entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage, and that judgement was upheld by the Court of Appeal in 2018.
Uber have since argued that, as one of the three judges agreed with their argument, they will be using that as grounds to appeal to the Supreme Court.
More on Uber shares drop: Reuters