Thousands of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash drivers to strike on Valentine’s Day to demand fair pay

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Thousands of drivers for Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are expected to go on strike across the U.S. on Valentine’s Day as they seek fair pay.

Justice for App Workers, a coalition representing more than 100,000 drivers, announced the strike last week.

These drivers who work as independent contractors have accused the companies of offering unfair wages and taking the majority of their commissions. The coalition said in a news release that drivers should not have to worry about making ends meet and “demand changes from Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and all the app companies profiting off of our hard work.”

“Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers are TIRED of being mistreated by the app companies,” the coalition wrote. “We’re sick of working 80 hours/week just to make ends meet, being constantly scared for our safety, and worrying about being deactivated with the click of a button.”

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The demonstrations are scheduled about a week after Lyft said it would guarantee weekly earnings for drivers, a first for ride-sharing companies as it attempts to attract more drivers.

“We are constantly working to improve the driver experience, which is why just this month we released a series of new offers and commitments aimed at increasing driver pay and transparency,” Lyft said in a statement.

Uber said only a minority of its drivers participate in strikes like this and that they rarely have an impact on business. The company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said last week on an earnings call with analysts that drivers in the U.S. earned about $33 per utilized hour in the fourth quarter.

Last year, Uber drivers’ monthly average gross earnings dropped 17.1%, while Lyft drivers’ rose 2.5%, according to Gridwise, which analyzes gig mobility data.

Demonstrations are planned in Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Hartford, Connecticut; Newark, New Jersey; Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

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“This is the biggest strike I’ve ever seen, thousands and thousands of drivers … it’s going to be nationwide,” said Jonathan Cruz, a driver in Miami and part of the Justice For App Workers coalition.

Many drivers apply to these ride-share and delivery companies to supplement their income, while others drive full-time for the platforms.

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“A year into algorithmic pricing, drivers have seen incredible decrease of our pay… whatever calculations and algorithms they’re using, it’s absolutely useless,” said Nicole Moore, president of the California-based Rideshare Drivers United union.

Shantwan Humphrey, a driver in Dallas, Texas, said, “By not paying drivers a livable wage, drivers are barely able to afford the bare necessities.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

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