Uber drivers go on strike to protest low wages

LOS ANGELES — In several major cities, including Los Angeles, Uber drivers logged off and surged to the picket lines.

After a day-long strike, ride-sharing giant Uber had filed a settlement with tens of thousands of drivers, whom they’ve classified as contractors.

Uber did not reveal details of the settlement believed to be worth as much as $170 million.

The filing of the settlement came a day before the company goes public, and a day after drivers throughout the world went on strike.

Filipino drivers like Jake, who started five years ago, say that recent changes to Uber’s payment plans have resulted in less a take-home pay.

“I’m a five star driver I’ve been with Uber and Lyft for quite a while and I’ve been doing this part time before and they’re paying good, but right now they’re paying half and that’s what we’re fighting for. We don’t ask for more but we’re asking for the right fare which was before.”

A few of the signs showed that at times, drivers take home a small fraction of what passengers pay, making it difficult for drivers who rely on ridesharing as their main source of income to make ends meet.

“Now they’re paying half the pay of what they’ve paid me before. And they’re telling me that we are making more money doing this and taking the fair down and giving us perks, I don’t know, what perk are they?”

As the picketers encouraged passing drivers to go on strike, they did get into arguments with taxi drivers whom they’ve had friction with in the past.

As rideshare drivers fight for a voice in their industry, elected officials and union leaders have given them their support.

In the state Capitol, lawmakers are addressing rideshare drivers as they work on labor-related legislation.

In Sacramento, AB 5 is being debated to change state laws make contracting fairer.

In a statement, Uber has said that drivers are at the heart of their service.

They say they will continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.

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