In a virtual press conference today, Mobile Workers Alliance drivers reacted to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s cruel take on the current public health crisis.
This morning, in comments to financial analysts regarding the ongoing pandemic, Khosrowshahi said “This situation certainly demonstrates the downside of attaching basic protections to W2 employment.”
MWA driver James Wiest addressed the comment directly in remarks to press. “This is despicable, even by Uber’s standards,” he said. “This heartlessness toward drivers once again shows Uber’s true colors – prioritizing profits above all else, even in the midst of the most serious public health emergency we’ve faced in my lifetime.”
Later, drivers outlined our demands, including a call for Uber and Lyft to immediately drop their deceptive ballot measure aimed at overturning AB 5, reclassify drivers as employees, and use the $110 million committed to the campaign to provide direct relief to drivers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
As federal, state, and local authorities take extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, Uber and Lyft have failed to take meaningful steps to protect drivers and passengers from the growing public health threat.
In less than a week, thousands of drivers have signed onto a petition urging the rideshare giants to take immediate action to comply with AB5, which we fought for and won in 2019.
Here are our demands:
Uber and Lyft end driver misclassification immediately and comply with Assembly Bill 5 to protect worker and public safety.
Uber and Lyft provide paid leave for all workers who are exhibiting any possible COVID-19 symptoms, have been diagnosed, or have been ordered to self-quarantine, for at least 14 days. Hourly wages should be $15 at minimum, and all workers should be compensated for at least 30 hours per week.
Uber and Lyft provide free COVID-19 screening to all drivers.
Uber and Lyft reimburse drivers for all expenses related to keeping cars safe and sanitized.
Uber and Lyft provide compensation to drivers for time spent disinfecting vehicles between rides.
An urgent meeting with Uber and Lyft executive teams to address drivers’ concerns, with the goal of establishing permanent paid leave policies and rapid response procedures for future public health emergencies.
- Put the $110 million allocated to the insulting ballot measure into a fund to support drivers affected by the outbreak.
“Uber and Lyft are not doing enough to protect drivers and passengers during this public health crisis,” MWA driver Jerome Gage said. “Because Uber and Lyft refuse to comply with state law and properly classify us as employees, we’re left without guaranteed paid sick time, unemployment insurance, or employer-provided healthcare. If drivers like me begin to show symptoms, we’re forced to decide between self-quarantining and making enough money to keep food on the table for our families. It’s unacceptable.”
Drivers are continuing gather petition signatures in the coming days alongside partners Paid Leave for the United States. Tell Uber and Lyft to take immediate action to protect public health!