Uber Drivers Fight for Higher Minimum Wage
This week, workers across the country in industries like hospitality, food service, and health are protesting the low national minimum wage. They are fighting for $15 an hour, which they argue is the actual minimum rate that employees need to earn to be able to pay for basic needs. Theoretically, a person working 40 hours a week at a minimum wage job should be able to live on their earnings, but as many people in the United States will tell you that is not possible. The gap between the minimum wage and a living wage is such that oftentimes individuals are forced to take on multiple jobs just to make ends (barely) meet.
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Joining these workers in protesting current labor laws are many Uber drivers. The ridesharing giant classifies its drivers as “independent contractors” instead of employees, which frees them from offering benefits, paid time off, and other protections. Uber also requires drivers to pay for their own car insurance, fuel, and wear and tear on the car out of pocket. Uber drivers are growing angrier than ever because Uber has also slashed fares in some areas to stay competitive, meaning that drivers make much less for the same amount of work.
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According to Jalopnik, several drivers are protesting by refusing to drive. In some areas, that could go unnoticed, but in areas like New York City where Uber drivers are becoming an essential part of transportation the protest could be more disrupting. Several drivers also have plans to picket San Francisco’s airport, which serves Uber’s headquarters. We shall see if these protests are truly effective, or if they will fall on deaf ears.
News Source: Jalopnik