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Rideshare, food delivery drivers in Chicago and beyond strike on Valentine's Day

Rideshare, food delivery drivers in Chicago and beyond strike on Valentine's Day
Rideshare, food delivery drivers in Chicago and beyond strike on Valentine's Day 01:28

CHICAGO (CBS) -- To anyone planning to use rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft on Wednesday: some drivers are striking on Valentine's Day strike.

Protesters gathered near O'Hare International Airport. Organizers said they hope to disrupt their service to prove a point.

Steven Everett has been a rideshare app driver for more than eight years. He is a member of Justice for App Workers, a national coalition calling on 130,000 of their members to call off working all day Wednesday.

"This is what I have to do to make ends meet," Everett said. "Nowadays, I'm out here about 80 hours a week."

Everett is organizing the local strike, with a rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

"Rideshare drivers need a little love, too," said Everett, an organizer for the Independent Drivers Guild of Chicago. "We went from working 40-hour weeks to now working 80 hours per week. We need safety. A lot of drivers are getting carjacked every single day."

"A lot of the drivers, they don't make enough," added Mag Gonda, an Uber and Lyft driver, "especially these days – the rates are really low. People are struggling."

Late Tuesday, it was unclear how many drivers would participate and how many travelers would be affected.  

But some say they don't mind the disruption.

"I would rather have a relative drop me off so they can stand up for what they believe in," said Sharica Herron, who will be traveling from O'Hare on Wednesday.

Citing prior events, Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash officials said they do not expect the impact on rides and pricing to be significant.

Uber released this statement:

"These types of events have rarely had any impact on trips, prices or driver availability, and we expect the same tomorrow. That's because the vast majority of drivers are satisfied - earnings remain strong, and as of last quarter, drivers in the U.S. were making about $33 per utilized hour. We also continue to act on driver feedback, adding new safety features to the app and improving our account deactivation processes."

Lyft released this statement:

"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. This includes a new earnings commitment and an improved deactivation appeals process. Now, drivers will always make at least 70% of the weekly rider fares after external fees. It's all part of our new customer-obsessed focus on drivers."

DoorDash released this statement:

"We're always listening to Dashers and looking for ways to improve the platform. We're extremely proud that millions of Dashers have turned to DoorDash to help reach their financial goals by earning how, when and where they want - and they've earned over $35 billion doing it.  That said, we do not expect any significant impact on Valentine's Day."

Another thing drivers will be protesting is how easy they say it is for their accounts and livelihood to be suspended. Both Uber and Lyft say they have already added tools to address that.

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