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Uber Defends Slashing Drivers' Rates Amid LA Protest

LOS ANGELES ( — A spokesperson for popular ride-sharing service Uber has defended the company's decision to cut its drivers' rates in more than half as they gathered in protest Tuesday.

More than 50 Los Angeles-based Uber drivers assembled in a North Hollywood parking lot Tuesday night to voice their displeasure with continued cuts in their take-home pay.

"None of us have anything against the app. We love the app," said driver Aya Valilar, who has been working with the company a year-and-a-half.

"I've experienced four cuts since I started. It was $2.50 a mile when I started a year-and-a-half ago, and now we are at $1.10 a mile. You can't make a living off of that," she said.

Drivers at the protest blamed the cuts on competition from similar services like Lyft.

"At the beginning, it was $2.50 a mile. People, they financed cars, they bought cars. They made money at the beginning," driver John Dabbah said. "Now they are dropping the price day after day without even asking the driver."

Uber currently takes a 20 percent commission and each driver pays for their own insurance and gas.

In response to Tuesday's protest, an Uber spokesperson sent CBS2/KCAL9 the following statement, reading in part: "Drivers are making more money now due to higher demand than they did before the price cut. We will continue to work with them individually to ensure their small businesses thrive."

Drivers, however, say the company simply isn't communicating with them.

"I hope we're heard. That is all we're asking for is to be heard. No one wants to listen to us," Valilar said.


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