On the morning of May 8, Uber and Lyft drivers set out on strike to protest Uber’s upcoming IPO.
Drivers in more than a dozen cities participated in a strike on Wednesday ahead of Uber’s highly anticipated Wall Street debut.
The strikes happened across major U.S. cities, as well as parts of the United Kingdom, Australia and South America. The action kicked off in London at 7 a.m. local time and will last until 4 p.m.
Participating drivers say they intend to send a message to Uber and its rivals: They want livable incomes, job security and regulated fares, among other demands.
The timing of this strike is significant: Morning rush hour is a big moneymaking time for ride-hailing, and this work stoppage is planned for the day before Uber is expected to go public to the tune of $90 billion.
While a single strike will almost certainly not affect the company’s valuation, the drivers hope to send a clear signal about their perspective on the inequity inherent in the company before it goes public.
Both Uber and Lyft have built their businesses on the backs of drivers, and now they demand new actions.
According to CNN Business, drivers are pushing for better treatment and improved conditions, but the specific demands vary by organizing group.
For Rideshare Drivers United, they include having an elected driver representative added to the boards of Uber and Lyft, a 10% commission cap on driver earnings, introducing an hourly minimum wage similar to New York City’s, and a transparent and speedy appeals process for when drivers are de-activated. (Those are just a few of the desired protections, according to a driver bill of rights posted on Rideshare Drivers United’s website.)