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‘They can’t bear to see us get a raise’: Uber drivers launch 24-hour strike after company sues to stop fare increases

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‘They can’t bear to see us get a raise’: Uber drivers launch 24-hour strike after company sues to stop fare increases

Uber drivers in New York City are striking today in response to the company suing to block a ruling requiring Uber to pay drivers more.

The strike, which is set to last 24 hours, started early Monday morning. Drivers are protesting a lawsuit launched last week by the company against the New York City Taxi and Limo Commission (TLC) to block a wage increase that was set to go into effect today. 

The rule, according to the TLC, would see a massive increase in rates for drivers—7.42% for per-minute rides and 23.98% for per-mile rates—to combat inflation, gas prices, and low driver numbers overall. But Uber says the rule doesn’t reflect the “impact” of inflation and called into question the economics the Commission used in its decision. 

Uber said it would be forced to pay another $21 to $23 million per month and that it might pass those costs onto the consumers.

“Such a significant fare hike, right before the holidays, would irreparably damage Uber’s reputation, impair goodwill, and risk permanent loss of business and customers,” the company said in the suit.  

Drivers decided to strike, asking patrons not to use the app on Monday out of solidarity.

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

Workers also staged a caravan Monday morning at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in New York City, organized by the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate for ride-share drivers.

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

“I can’t believe that Uber did this to us. With all that we do for Uber and they can’t bear to see us get a raise,” one driver said 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 gonna get a raise, and this is what we got.”

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

Uber did not respond to a request for comment.

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*First Published: Dec 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.

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