Uber and Lyft drivers plan to strike in Northeast Ohio, citing low wages and lack of benefits

Updated: May. 7, 2019 at 11:39 PM EDT
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NORTHEAST OHIO, OH (WOIO) - If you count on Uber or Lyft to get where you are going, and many people do just that, you may be scrambling for a ride on Wednesday as rideshare drivers have planned a one-day strike.

Drivers are concerned about what they say are shrinking wages, and they complain that their status as contractors precludes them from receiving company benefits.

Dave, an Uber and Lyft driver for six years, said his main concern are wage cuts.

“They’ve reduced wages four separate times since I stared driving.” he said.

Reduced fares may seem like a bonus for riders, but drivers like Dave say the companies have simply raised fees on riders to compensate for the lower fares.

“We get paid the actual mileage and time of our drive, but the price you’re quoted by Uber or Lyft could be different than that--sometimes substantially different,” he said.

Drivers are also responsible for all vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, so with lower fares and rising gas prices, they claim they are being driven out of the game.

Some drivers are unhappy with their status as contractors as opposed to company employees, as it prevents them from receiving valuable benefits.

That’s not an issue for Dave who prefers the independence. “The flexibility is really why I like this, I can turn it on and off as I wish, and I don’t know if we become paid employees that we would have that luxury,” he said.

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