In view of the impending Initial Public Offering (IPO) launched on Friday by the world-renowned ride-services company Uber, its drivers in the US and UK have gone on strike Wednesday morning, complaining of lower wages. The protest comes just a day before Uber gets ready to launch its IPO worth almost $90 billion. The drivers seem to be unhappy with the low pay rates currently being offered by the company and have started a day of strikes in the US and UK, with supporters joining in from across cities.
Complain of low wages in light of $90 bn IPO
Uber has been in the news for a series of scandals and owing to losses has been under compelling pressure for cost-cutting. Meanwhile, in the wake of protests for a higher pay coming right at the time of its IPO launch, the company realizes the threat that driver dissatisfaction poses to its prospective investors. DaraKhosrowshahi, Uber Chief Executive, said that the company does intend to make steady efforts to treat its drivers better, adding that almost more than a million of its drivers worldwide are being offered almost $300 mn as one-time bonuses. The company has also changed policies which now allow riders to tip drivers for the ride.
The company is being attacked by driver unions for a number of recent moves which don’t seem to have gone down well with its millions of drivers globally. Complex formulas to find out actual driver earnings and which leave a wide gap between the amount paid by riders and the actual amount earned by the drivers, and lowering the per mile rate for drivers in LA and SFO, have led drivers into predicting an estimated loss of almost 10-20% in earnings.
Whether the strikes would slow down cab services in the US and UK regions still remains unclear and is yet to be seen, though the Uber app displayed higher cab fares in London Wednesday morning owing to higher demand. Strike organizers also see huge publicity already and social media followers using the #UberShutDownin support of the strike.