Rideshare drivers hoping to unionize, force companies to improve pay

Leo Stallworth Image
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Rideshare drivers hoping to unionize, force companies to improve pay
Drivers for Uber and Lyft held a rally in Los Angeles to demand more rights from the companies.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Rideshare drivers are looking for a bigger voice in the policies that govern their rights and protections.

Dozens of drivers rallied in downtown Los Angeles and delivered a "rideshare drivers' bill of rights" to Gov. Gavin Newsom's downtown LA office.

Rideshare Drivers United is hoping to unionize drivers to give them a greater voice when dealing with companies like Uber and Lyft.

"We need fair pay right now," said Nicole Moore, who drives for Uber and Lyft. "The companies are taking up to 70 percent of our fare sometimes."

Moore claims the companies are taking a larger slice of fares per ride, leaving her in a further hole financially.

"We're putting the tires on the car. We're replacing our transmissions and they're becoming very rich. We're the fastest-growing low-wage job in Los Angeles right now."

Drivers claim they need protection from the companies' ability to deactivate them without cause.

"We need to organize," said rideshare driver Terri Beilke. "Whether it's a union or association we need to get together as a group, one solid group across the United States."

Rallying drivers say unionizing will strengthen their demands to place a 10 percent cap on the amount of money rideshare companies can take from drivers per fare.

Drivers say they hope their voices are heard all the way to the governor's office.

"We think the governor can be supportive and an ally of drivers but he needs to understand what drivers think," Moore said.

Lyft issued a statement that read in part: "Lyft is actively exploring opportunities to support legislation to provide benefits to drivers that are portable, and attached to the worker rather than the company."