Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Lyft loss widens to $1.1 B, unveils Waymo partnership

Lyft carpooling press image Drivers from Uber and its competitor Lyft plan a two-hour strike over pay ahead of Uber's IPO
Russell Knight | 08 May, 2019, 15:38

Driver members for Uber, Lyft, Juno and Via voted to strike in several cities, including New York City, from 7 a.m.to 9 a.m., CNet reported. "We don't make enough to cover our cost, the maintenance cost", Uber driver Naeem said.

The report comes just days before the hotly anticipated IPO of Lyft's much larger rival, Uber, which plans to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Outside of the United States, drivers across Australia and the United Kingdom say they'll be joining in with the Thursday shut down as well. "Most of [the] drivers living in San Francisco are forced to work at least 70-80 hours a week in order to survive in the city". Under the new policy, which went into effect on February 1, drivers are supposed to earn a minimum take-home wage of $17.22 per hour. "Are they actually representing the majority of the drivers?" he said.

Last October, hundreds of drivers went on strike in Mumbai and New Delhi, demanding higher fares to meet rising fuel costs.

According to a recent study from Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, which spent two years investigating the working conditions of 40 Uber drivers in the D.C. area, 33% took on debt that resulted from driving for Uber. Once the vehicles come online, customers whose routes fall into Waymo's service area-currently limited to a slice of the suburbs southeast of Phoenix-will be offered the option to ride a Waymo auto (with a safety driver) instead of a regular human-driven auto.

They are joining action by drivers in United States cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Washington DC, as well as in other countries, including Brazil.

In a statement, a Lyft spokesperson said that the company's drivers' "hourly earnings have increased over the last two years" to an average of more than $20 an hour; Uber did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

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Uber said in a statement: "Drivers are at the heart of our service - we can´t succeed without them - and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road".

"We're excited about our investments and initiatives this year that will drive future growth", said Logan Green, Lyft's co-founder and CEO, in a conference call with investors.

FILE - This Tuesday, June 12, 2018, file photo shows the Uber app on a phone in NY. They have been raising their bets against Lyft over its widening losses, which increased to $1.1 billion from $234.3 million previously, largely owing to expenses related to its initial public offering.

While Uber has also cited studies showing its US drivers were earning between $18-$20 per hour, a 2018 analysis by the Economic Policy Institute came to somewhat different conclusions. Uber, for instance, has around 12,000 employees, but over 2 million people are registered as drivers on the platform.

"Uber and Lyft are unlikely to increase drivers' minimum wage to $28 simply because of the May 8 strike", Beebe said. Both companies have stated that their businesses would be "adversely affected" if drivers were classified as employees instead of contractors.

Uber expects to be valued at more than $114 billion in its imminent big day on Wall Street.

'With the IPO, Uber's corporate owners are set to make billions, all while drivers are left in poverty and go bankrupt'.

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