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Rideshare Drivers Stage One-Day Strike In LA, Other Cities Wednesday

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — People looking to use rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber might be in for some difficulty Wednesday as many drivers held a one-day strike.

Rideshare Drivers United held the one-day strike near LAX at 1 p.m. for better pay and status under the law.

They say they only make about 32-cents a mile for airport pick-ups.

Rideshare Drivers United organized the strikes in a number of cities across the country, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco,  Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Baltimore.

"We've seen the customers get charged an enormous amount of money," said Tyler Sandness with Ride Share Drivers United. "But we've seen the rates in which the drivers receive lower and lower."

The group says rideshare companies have:

  • Reduced mileage rates, lowered commissions, taken away flexibility and transparency;
  • Continue to exploit workers by manipulating algorithms;
  • Broken promises of Prop 22.

Prop 22, passed by California voters in November 2020, allows ride-hailing companies to avoid classifying drivers as employees.

A group of young women who had flown into LAX from Baltimore were on both Uber and Lyft apps after they landed.

"The first thing I noticed was the prices," said passenger Leileh Grey.  "It was like $70 to go five minutes away."

They ended up spending nearly $60 for their ride which was about three-quarters of a mile after a handful of cancellations.

"Sometimes uber can't take all of us," said passenger Amirah Carroll. "Then we have a whole bunch of luggage."

Uber said, "California median earnings for drivers the entire time they are on the app, excluding tips, are currently $32.33 per hour and $42.44 per hour when including driver incentives."

Meanwhile, Lyft said, "In our top markets, including those in California, drivers are making more than $30 an hour, substantially higher than pre-COVID."

Everyone waiting for rides at the LAX pick-up lot said they've noticed price hikes.

However, a number of rideshare drivers did not take part in the strike.

"I'm not saying I'm not supporting the strike, because I do, but I also have a family to support," said driver Lord Roper.

The drivers are also calling for the passage of the PRO Act, short for Protecting the Right to Organize, which would expand protections for workers seeking to unionize. It passed the House of Representatives and has the support of President Biden.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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