Uber drivers go on strike in New York City after app locks were increased

Uber drivers in New York City are on strike today in response to the company’s lawsuit to block a ruling asking Uber to pay drivers more.

The strike that is set Lasting 24 hours, began early Monday morning. The drivers are protesting a lawsuit the company filed against the New York City Taxi and Limo Commission (TLC) last week to block a pay rise that was due to take effect today.

The rule calls for a massive increase in fares for drivers — 7.42% for trips per minute and 23.98% for fares per mile — to combat inflation, gas prices and overall low driver numbers, according to TLC. But Uber says the rule doesn’t reflect the “impact” of inflation and questions the economics the commission used in its decision.

Uber said it would be forced to pay another $21 million to $23 million a month and could pass those costs on to consumers.

“Such a significant fare increase just before the holiday would irreparably damage Uber’s reputation, harm goodwill and risk permanent loss of business and customers,” the company said in the lawsuit.

The drivers decided to go on strike and asked customers not to use the app on Monday out of solidarity.

Taxi drivers joined the fight, with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance calling Uber “vindictive” and “greedy.”

Workers also held a caravan Monday morning at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in New York City, organized by the Independent Drivers Guild, a ride-sharing affiliate of the Machinists Union.

In videos posted by the Taxi Workers Alliance, drivers criticized the tech giant for not agreeing to the new rule.

“I can’t believe Uber did this to us. With everything we do for Uber, they can’t stand us getting a raise,” said a driver in a Video.

“I lost motivation to work [after the suit]’, another driver said. “I can’t believe this happened. Everything is expensive…we thought we were going to get a raise and we got it.”

“Uber only works for their benefit, they don’t care about the drivers,” another said. “We have to do something about it.”

Uber did not respond to a request for comment.

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*Initial publication: December 19, 2022 4:44 pm CST

Jacob Seitz

Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.

Jacob Seitz

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