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What you need to know about the Lyft, Uber driver strike

The drivers behind the ubiquitous ride-hailing apps Lyft and Uber are demanding more to keep working, including better pay, protections, transparency, benefits, and support.

On Wednesday, drivers in 10 major U.S. cities will go on strike, asking passengers to also refrain from using the on-demand services that day. The Rideshare Drivers United group spearheaded the strike in Los Angeles and it has since grown to 10 cities and areas throughout the country. Uber drivers in the UK are also striking. Lyft is not available in Europe.

Here’s everything going on with the strike.

Why are ride-share drivers striking?

Lyft went public last month at a $24 billion valuation. Uber filed for its initial public offering and is expected to start trading by Friday — with a $90 billion valuation. While some long-time drivers earned cash payouts with the option to buy stocks, many are feeling pinched. Drivers are classified as independent contractors on the platform, so while they can “be their own boss” they don’t receive much in the way of healthcare, sick pay, or other benefits.

Pay is the primary issue here. Drivers want a guaranteed $28 per hour minimum rate so that after expenses like gas, insurance payments, maintenance, they bring in $17 per hour. New York City has implemented this practice

A Gridwise study that looked at 810,000 ride-hailing trips from 30,000 drivers throughout the U.S. in the two months leading up to mid-April found the average hourly driver pay is $18.65. Gridwise is an app used by ride-share drivers to be more efficient. 

Other demands involve transparency about wages and deactivations from the driver app. The drivers also want more of a voice and say in how the apps work as well as other benefits and protections. 

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