Why are Lyft and Uber drivers striking across the country for 24 hours?

U.S.

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Lyft and Uber drivers are conducting a 24-hour strike starting Wednesday to raise awareness on their demands for fair pay and passage of the PRO act in Congress.

The drivers are striking across the country with rallies in 11 cities, including Los Angeles, Boston and Cleveland.

A major rally was expected at Los Angeles International airport later in the day with the striking drivers.

The strike comes amid a record shortage of drivers as many quit during the pandemic for health concerns or after a recent uptick in carjacking attempts across major cities.

Rideshare Drivers United organized the strikes and wants those in Washington to focus on passing the PRO act, which would make it more difficult for the rideshare companies to classify drivers as independent contractors.

Drivers want to be considered direct employees of the companies, something that would allow them to have access to benefits and to collectively bargain.

California drivers are specifically also protesting against Proposition 22, which passed last year in the state. It classified all app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery drivers as independent contractors.

The controversial measure passed by 8% in the state and had been heavily debated in the months before the vote.

Lyft and Uber have not issued a direct response to Wednesday’s protests. Uber recently announced a $250 million “driver stimulus” initiative to boost driver earnings. Lyft published a blog post highlighting the benefits of Prop 22 for their drivers’ income and flexibility.

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