LA Ride-Share Drivers Join In Nationwide Labor Action Calling For Increased Pay And Benefits
Ride-share drivers in Los Angeles staged a strike Wednesday as part of a nationwide protests over safety, pay, and working conditions.
The drivers want increased benefits and better pay from ride-share app companies like Lyft and Uber. They say the issues have become especially apparent throughout the pandemic.
Protests were held throughout the day in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Diego and San Francisco.
Alvaro Bolainez, who has been driving for Lyft for nearly eight years, joined drivers outside of a ride-share parking lot at LAX. "We are striking because we need the PRO Act now. And because Uber lied to us and to the passengers in order to pass Prop 22," he said.
Under Proposition 22, passed by California voters last year, drivers for Uber, Lyft and other app-based ride hailing and delivery services are classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. The PRO Act — short for Protect the Right to Organize Act — passed in the House in March, but is awaiting a vote in the Senate. If passed, the bill would provide new protections for workers wanting to unionize and crack down on companies violating workers' rights.
Drivers also advocated against what they call manipulative algorithms that give drivers no flexibility in their work.
Another Lyft driver, Jose Contreras, said he joined the picket line because, despite skyrocketing prices for riders, drivers aren’t seeing any raise in their pay.