Some rideshare drivers in Los Angeles are striking on Monday after Uber announced that it is cutting driver pay per mile.
A group calling itself "Rideshare Drivers United" is calling for drivers to turn off their Uber and Lyft apps in an attempt to force the companies to pay higher wages to drivers.
KTLA-TV in Los Angeles reports that Uber cut per-mile pay from 80 cents to 60 cents last week in parts of southern California. Both Uber and Lyft do not consider their drivers employees, instead calling them "independent contractors." Drivers are not offered benefits outside of pay and tips, and are responsible for fuel and upkeep on their own cars.
Past driver strikes have demanded that the rideshare companies recognize them as full-time employees. While that's still a goal of the striking drivers, their work stoppage on Monday is simply aiming to restore higher wages.
Rideshare drivers face an uphill battle when organizing labor movements. In addition to not being classified as true employees, drivers don't interact with coworkers while they work, so spreading the word about a work stoppage can be difficult.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), a 2020 presidential candidate, tweeted support for the strikers on Monday.
I stand with Uber and Lyft drivers striking in LA. One job should be enough to make a decent living in America, especially for those working for multibillion-dollar companies. Drivers must be paid the wages they deserve. #StrikeUberLyft https://t.co/uyp8E0VkyR
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 25, 2019