What Uber, Lyft riders can do to stay safe
San Francisco Uber and Lyft drivers are among the thousands of ride-hailing app drivers nationwide expected to strike Wednesday morning, one day before Uber is expected to issue its initial public stock offering.
The strike, organized by labor groups including taxi unions, will take place nationwide between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. In San Francisco, that strike will be followed on Thursday with a march to Uber headquarters, according to the unions.
The hashtags #UberStrike and #LyftStrike have lit up social media ahead of Wednesday’s planned protest.
One strike supporter is Vermont senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who tweeted, “People who work for multibillion-dollar companies should not have to work 70 or 80 hours a week to get by.”
Drivers working long hours, with little pay and no benefits, has been a consistent complaint against both Lyft and Uber.
Among those announcing their participation in the strike is Democratic Virginia General Assemblyman Lee J. Carter, who tweeted that he drives for Lyft “to make ends meet” because of the low pay from his legislative job.
“Don’t cross the picket line,” Carter urged in his tweet.
But the Wednesday strike has met with some pushback. Not every driver is supporting the effort; one man, who said he drives for a ride-hailing service, tweeted that “riders that need to get to work shouldn’t suffer.”
Other pushback is coming from the ride-hailing companies themselves.
Washington Post reporter Greg Bensinger noted on Twitter that it appeared as if Uber was offering drivers a special bonus on Wednesday if they crossed the picket line. Adweek editor Sammy Nickalls noted that Uber and Lyft were offering discounted rides on the same week as the strike.
Still others took to Twitter to offer solutions, such as public transportation or a traditional taxi cabs, for people who don’t want to cross a picket line but need a ride Wednesday morning.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, Twitter account offered a 25 percent discount for groups of riders heading to the airport.