BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Some drivers for ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft turned off their apps Wednesday to protest what they say are declining wages at a time when both companies are raking in billions of dollars from investors.
Organizers planned demonstrations in 10 U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, as well as some European locations like London.READ MORE: It Happens Here: Learning To Play Polo, ‘The Game of Kings’, In Georgetown
The drivers want more money and better working conditions.
“When you’re a driver, you’re putting in so much work and so much hours,” a driver at Logan Airport told WBZ-TV Wednesday. “There should be an understanding with both parties.”
“Uber and Lyft were built on the sweat of the drivers and we feel we’re not getting a fair shake,” said driver Felipe Martinez.
Some drivers in the Boston area shut off the app for the entire day while others did it just a few hours, because they still need the money.
“Life is very expensive. We have to pay the car, the insurance, you know. We have a family. It’s tough,” said driver Alirio Sauza.
A small group of drivers protested outside an Uber office in Saugus Wednesday afternoon.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Massport reminded anyone flying on Wednesday that they should prepare to find other transportation options to get to Logan Airport.
The drivers are timing their protests in advance of Uber’s initial public stock offering, which is planned for Friday. Uber aims to raise $9 billion from investors and is expected to be valued at up to $91.5 billion.
It’s not the first time drivers for ride-hailing apps have staged protests. Strikes were planned in several cities ahead of Lyft’s IPO last month, although the disruption to riders appeared to be minimal. This time more cities are participating.
Drivers are asking for 80 percent of the ride.
Lyft said in a statement that drivers make an average $20 per hour.
“We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we’re constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community,” Lyft said in a statement Wednesday.MORE NEWS: Hiker Spots Rare Five-Foot Timber Rattlesnake In Blue Hills Reservation
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