Uber and Lyft drivers in Toronto sit out worldwide strike
Thousands of rideshare service drivers from around the world are taking place in strike actions this week ahead of Uber's hotly-anticipated initial public offering on Friday.
The IPO is expected to be one of the largest U.S. stock market debuts in history, and those who work on the company's front lines are well aware of how much money is in the mix. They'd like to see more of it in their pockets.
Drivers for both Uber and Lyft have refused to work for up to 24 hours, starting yesterday, in dozens of American and international cities to demand better wages and more job security, among other things — but Toronto was not one of those cities.
I am disappointed but not surprised that the Uber Drivers Strike in Toronto was a non-event at best. This highlights the need for better communication, organization and visibility. Their grievances are legitimate, action is required.— TorontoUberDriver (@UberDriverGTA) May 8, 2019
No formal work stoppages have been organized among ridesharing drivers here in Ontario, nor have we seen any of the protests or rallies popping up in major cities like San Francisco and New York ahead of Uber's IPO.
An anonymous Toronto Uber driver who is active on Twitter under the handle @UberDriverGTA confirmed yesterday that Canadian support for the Uber drivers' strike was "unclear" and that better "organization and communication" was needed.
No protests were reported in or around the city, and work stoppages, if any did take place, were not large enough to impact service generally.
I don’t know if the Uber strike is happening in Toronto but my Uber drivers yesterday had no idea it was happening 💀💀— ワンワン (@StaticJungle) May 8, 2019
Whether it was a lack of organization or a conscious choice on behalf of Uber and Lyft drivers in Toronto to continue working remains unclear.
Drivers in many cities are said to have skipped or abandoned the demonstration in favour of making more money than usual.
Both drivers and riders have reported that the Uber app is offering up special incentives in light of the protest, with some customers in Los Angeles receiving $10 off all rides this week and those in New York receiving discounts of 20 per cent.
The pressure is getting to Uber.— Gig Workers Rising (@GigWorkersRise) May 6, 2019
They rely on how difficult it is to organize drivers, that's enabled them to pay drivers poverty wages & no benefits.
Now that we're organizing, they're upping rates on Wednesday morning to try get drivers not to join in.
Don't be fooled. pic.twitter.com/KDqbHEZpgh
Screenshots published by drivers show similar financial rewards being offered by the company to those working during the strike period.
"Uber and Lyft [have] over 100,000 drivers in Toronto," wrote the local Uber and Lyft news Twitter account @RideshareNewsTO on Wednesday. "Some may join in on the pay protest. On average, drivers earn $20/hour, which includes HST. After HST, gas, etc. drivers make less than minimum wage."
That said, "getting a ride shouldn't be a problem as there are so many drivers."
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