For the second time in two weeks, Mobile Workers Alliance headed North to fight for AB5, rights and protections for drivers and a path to a union.
Friday morning, dozens of MWA drivers joined a group of Bay Area drivers from Gig Workers Rising at the Uber Headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco. In front of the HQ, we held a press conference demanding that Uber and Lyft include driver voices in the conversations around AB5 and the future of so-called gig work.
In a recent op-ed, Uber and Lyft bosses claim that they want to change for the better. Yet, they’ve spent the past weeks doing everything the can to fight AB5 – including paying drivers $100 to show up to a protest against the bill. If Uber and Lyft really want change, there’s only one way to get it – AB5 and a democratic, driver-led union.
We see them and we’re calling them out. Prior to today’s action, we, along with Gig Workers Rising, published an open letter in the San Francisco Chronicle to Uber & Lyft bosses that makes our demands clear.
In the letter, we wrote, “It’s time for Uber and Lyft to use the same innovation that made their businesses a verb in daily life to do right by us. That means extending all drivers the living wages and basic workplace protections we deserve. It also means an end to putting the cost and the risk of doing your business on us. Most importantly, it’s time for California’s leaders to give us the ability to bargain through a strong, democratic, driver-led union. We insist on a seat at the table immediately as these discussions are taking place and a meeting to discuss drivers’ core demands.”
We drove that point home this morning, with Linda Valdivia, one of the letter signees, delivering her message in person.
“We the drivers support AB5 and a union. Don’t let anyone tell you differently,” she said. “We the drivers are only getting stronger and our voices are getting louder. It’s time for Uber and the other rideshare companies to meet with us — we’re ready.”
We then delivered a hard copy of our letter to Uber staff and concluded with some chanting around the building – to remind them that the real power is in the streets.