Updated 2 p.m.
Ahead of Uber's initial public offering, drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-service companies plan to strike, turning off the apps as they flex their collective muscles to say: What about us?
Drivers in 10 cities across the country are taking action on Wednesday to draw attention to what they say are decreasing wages for drivers and a distressing lack of job security — and some are calling on passengers to temporarily boycott the ride-hailing services, too.
About 200 drivers and supporters protested outside Uber headquarters in San Francisco, carrying signs and chanting, “Drivers united will never be defeated.” Passing drivers honked their horns in support before protesters spilled onto Market Street, blocking traffic.
The Bay Area-based group Gig Workers Rising, which describes itself as "a community of app and platform workers coming together to improve our work and livelihoods," called for a 12-hour "app shut-off" for drivers and a strike in San Francisco starting at noon.
Oakland resident Stephen Phillips, who has driven for Uber and Lyft for four years, turned his app off and held a sign in front of Uber headquarters that said, “Our actual earnings are half what they were 4 years ago.”
He said drivers are flocking to San Francisco for work.
“Drivers are coming from all over the state, from Modesto, Sacramento, L.A., San Diego," Phillips said. "And they’re driving here and they’re sleeping in their cars because they can make so much more money here than they can where they come from. Many, many, many of them are very aware the companies have been treating us unfairly. There’s a very big awareness of that.”