From the September-October 2019 issue of News & Letters
Los Angeles–On July 2 over 30 Lyft drivers and their supporters rallied at the Lyft office just east of downtown for their labor rights and to reverse pay cuts forced by the company. A main banner said: “Rideshare Drivers United” with their website: www.drivers-united.org.
The many picket signs told the story and laid out our demands: “Gov. Newsom is standing with Tech,” referring to his meeting with Lyft and Uber without driver representation; “Bring Primetime Back,” referring to extra pay to match higher rates paid by riders during rush hours or after a sports event. In the “gig economy,” some periods of drivers’ work are unpaid (see “Uber and Lyft drivers strike against pay cuts,” May-June 2019 News & Letters).
Other signs stated: “Drivers support AB-5,” as under AB-5, hundreds of thousands of independent contractors would become employees and qualify for labor protection and benefits under California state law; “We demand a drivers’ bill of rights,” which includes the right to organize without retaliation, pay drivers for mileage and time en route to a passenger, a minimum wage, and an elected driver representative on the boards of directors of Uber and Lyft.
The protesters shouted, “Where’s my primetime?” and “Shame on Lyft–we demand a fair share,” as passing motorists honked their horns in support.
The protest ended as we marched to enter the office but were locked out.