SAN FRANCISCO—Bay Area Uber, Lyft, and drivers for other ride-hailing companies gathered in San Francisco and shut down their apps as part of a nationwide strike to protest working conditions and wages. Around 200 drivers gathered outside Uber’s San Francisco headquarters on Wednesday, May 8 as part of a National Day of Action, two days before Uber’s massive Wall Street debut.
Drivers in 10 cities across the country took action to draw attention to what they are saying are decreasing wages for drivers and a lack of job security.
Uber’s anticipated IPO (initial public offering) is expected to take place on Friday, May 10 on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO could put Uber’s value as high as $91.5 billion. Authorities estimated that there were around 300 people gathered in San Francisco, including protestors and media, at the headquarters just after noon.
At approximately 12:45 p.m., the protestors moved onto Market Street in front of the Uber building, shutting down traffic between Polk Street and Van Ness for an hour. They then marched around the block before ending the event where it started in front of Uber’s headquarters.
Many supporters tweeted about the strike, including CWA Union and Patriotic Millionaires, a group of Americans with incomes over $1 million and are in support of taxing the rich and combating political and income inequality.
“When Uber goes public tomorrow, its shareholders will become newly-minted millionaires,” Patriotic Millionaires wrote in a tweet on Thursday, May 9. “Meanwhile, thousands of its drivers straddle the poverty line because ride-share companies don’t want to pay them decent wages.”