On July 21, rideshare drivers staged a strike in front of the Uber headquarters in San Francisco and outside a Lyft drivers center in San Diego, demanding the right to unionize and for the passage of the PRO Act. While the PRO Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March, it needs support from at least three more Democrats in order to pass a vote in the Senate.
The PRO Act, which stands for Protecting the Right to Organize Act, was originally included in President Biden’s infrastructure plan. Now, it’s part of the $3.5 trillion bill Democrats are looking to pass. The Act could weaken anti-union right-to-work laws and strengthen employees’ rights to organize. The Act is currently facing opposition from the GOP, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other lobby groups.
Brian Dobler of the Rideshare Drivers United organization released the following statement about the strike: “We are striking to expose the fraud that is Prop 22, and to tell these companies that we are going to keep organizing and demanding a voice on the job. We need the PRO Act in order to reopen the economy with justice—politicians and businesses alike are scared of a labor shortage, but all workers and particularly app-based workers, won’t work in degrading conditions.”
According to a report from the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation, Uber and Lyft drivers earn around $900 per week, while food delivery workers earn around $500 per week. Once expenses are considered, earnings “drop at low as $360/week for ride-hailing drivers and $224/week for delivery workers.” Uber and Lyft also continue to lower their pay rates. For example, Uber recently cut rates at LAX from 60 cents a mile to 32.
According to Uber and Lyft, their drivers earn living wages. Geoff Vetter, vice president of public affairs for the Clyde Group, which represents Uber and Lyft, said, “as of April 2021, Uber drivers in Los Angeles are earning $26.85 per hour, and drivers in San Francisco are earning $25.28 per hour.”
Those figures, however, only represent a small portion of drivers that fit the following criteria:
- Spend 20 hours per week online
- Driver a Toyota Prius or Camry
- Do not account for expenses
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