Uber drivers plan strike ahead of IPO

Uber and other ride-hailing firms suffer massive losses while relying on the work of millions of drivers who are not employees

They timed their protests in advance of Uber's initial public stock offering, which is planned for Friday.

According to Waymo CEO John Krafcik, "This first step in our partnership will allow us to introduce the Waymo Driver to Lyft users, enabling them to take what for many will be their first ride in a self-driving vehicle".

Numerous drivers' coalitions were planning actions, including Rideshare Drivers United. This time more cities are participating.

To be sure, many drivers from Uber are still earning more than they could get in other blue-collar jobs in India. "I stand with the Uber and Lyft drivers going on strike on May 8".

NY drivers are fresh off a recent win against the city with a new law that mandates ride-hail companies pay at least $17.22 an hour after expenses, which other cities have hailed as an example, especially in expensive housing markets like L.A. Still, drivers say it's hard to make ends meet in major markets on that wage.

It was unclear how many drivers would take part in the work stoppage amid strike calls in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and elsewhere. And after months of talking up fully driverless technology-including a TV commercial starring late-night host Jimmy Kimmel-every Waymo One vehicle had a driver behind the wheel.

Yaseen Aslam, the secretary of the Independent Workers of Great Britain union's private hire drivers' branch, said: "Since Uber arrived to the United Kingdom in 2012, it has progressively driven down pay and conditions in the minicab sector to the point where many drivers are now being pushed to work over 60 hours a week just to get by".

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"If you believe in the Amazon model, you basically believe that Wall Street will fund these companies indefinitely with nearly zero cost of capital, as long as they post these extraordinary growth rates", said Renny Ponvert, CEO of independent research firm Management CV.

"There is no benefit in driving for Uber.my life was much better just as a cook", said 26-year-old Raut.

An Uber representative said the company will continue to work with drivers to improve their experience.

FILE - This Tuesday, June 12, 2018, file photo shows the Uber app on a phone in NY. In a statement, she predicted the chances of drivers at Uber and Lyft making any headway on their wage demands, even with the threat of labor actions, were slim.

While Uber has also cited studies showing its USA drivers were earning between $18-$20 per hour, a 2018 analysis by the Economic Policy Institute came to somewhat different conclusions.

The Uber spokesman said thousands of drivers in India earned the reward, but did not provide an exact number. The Uber and Lyft IPOs have shown a harsh spotlight on contradictions at the heart of these companies' business models: Both companies are losing money, yet growing rapidly, which has attracted ample investment to keep them afloat. "With the IPO, Uber's corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and go bankrupt".

Uber's valuation could be as high as $91 billion when trading begins, which would place it among the top three most valuable firms to ever debut on a US exchange.

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