What do you do when your rights and life come under attack? You stand up and fight back, and that’s exactly what members of the Mobile Workers Alliance (MWA) are doing.

On March 11th, dozens and dozens of Lyft and Uber drivers participated in preventive self-defense classes organized by MWA drivers for drivers in the Los Angeles area. The classes were spearheaded following the reports of rampant violence towards Uber and Lyft drivers, including the violent attack and robbery of MWA member Manuel Ramos in February.

“I was transporting 4 passengers on the freeway when I was attacked by a passenger in the backseat,” said Manuel Ramos. “This attack came out of nowhere and could have caused a really bad accident on the freeway. Thank god I was able to pull over into a gas station and safely get out of the car to call for help,” he added. “When I returned to my vehicle, I noticed that my family’s rent money was missing from the glove compartment.”

A shaken-up Ramos went on leave for three days without pay, despite being attacked on the job. What did Uber do for Ramos? Absolutely nothing with a lasting impact. The passenger can still use the app, but will never be paired with Manuel. For Manuel and his fellow drivers, that’s simply not enough.

“At first I was angry with the passengers that robbed me,” Manuel adds. “Now I’m equally angry with Lyft because they simply don’t care about drivers’ well-being, they only care about their profits. That’s why we’re taking up these self-defense classes. We refuse to be victims.”

Because both Uber and Lyft refuse to comply with California labor laws and properly classify drivers as employees, drivers work without proper workplace safety protections and run the risk of being attacked without adequate recourse like it happened to Ramos.

Like Ramos says, drivers are learning to defend themselves from violent passengers and the Silicon Valley companies that punch them down by denying them their labor rights.

“Today, we learned to defend ourselves from people who try to harm us in our cars and from the companies that abuse and exploit us,” said Uber driver and MWA leader Linda Valdivia.

At the end of the classes, four in-cabin cameras were raffled amongst the self-defense class participants. The drivers went back on the job well-equipped to fend off any attack, and committed to continue standing their ground in their fight to be classified correctly and win a union.

“I hope that we all feel a little more empowered today,” added driver James Wiest at the end of the self-defense classes. “Not just from the lessons the instructor taught us, but because we learned them together.”

“There is power in a union and there is power in working people standing together,” he added.

Los baños, van a cambiar.
Menos de dos semanas después de que lanzamos nuestra campaña de petición y un día antes de nuestra demostración planificada en el aeropuerto, los funcionarios de LAX se pusieron en contacto con MWA para prometer baños adicionales y estaciones de lavado de manos para el viernes junto con una invitación a reunirse para encontrar una solución a largo plazo para el condiciones antihigiénicas en el lote

LAWA Letter

Los conductores de MWA se embarcaron en una campaña de petición el 12 de febrero, para poner un fin a las condiciónes de los baños portátiles en el estacionamiento de LAX. Recolectamos más de 1,000 firmas en las primeras 24 horas.
Si has estado en el lote de LAX, bien conoces el estado de los baños. Si no has visto aquí hay algunas fotos. Toma en cuenta que son asquerosos!

Nasty Toilet 1 Nasty Toilet 2

Obviamente, los trabajadores de oficina de Uber y Lyft no trabajan con condiciones como las nuestras, pero debido a que se niegan a clasificar adecuadamente a los conductores como empleados, tenemos que hacer todo lo posible por la dignidad básica.
Queremos felicitar a los funcionarios de LAX por razonar y trabajar con los conductores, incluso ante la violación y negligencia de la ley de Uber y Lyft.
Esta victoria es solo un paso más en nuestro camino hacia la aplicación de la ley AB5 y un sindicato. ¡Nunca olvides que cuando luchamos, ganamos!

The toilets, they are a-changing.

Less than two weeks after we launched our petition drive and a day before our planned demonstration at the airport, LAX officials contacted MWA to promise additional toilets and handwashing stations by Friday along with an invitation to meet to work out a long-term solution to the current unsanitary conditions at the lot.

LAWA LetterMWA drivers embarked on a petition drive on Feb. 12, in response to the disgusting condition of the portable toilets in the LAX rideshare waiting lot. We collected more than 1,000 signatures in the first 24 hours.

If you’ve been to the LAX lot, you’re already familiar with the state of the toilets. If you haven’t here are some photos. Be warned that they are gross!!!

Nasty Toilet 1 Nasty Toilet 2

Obviously, Uber and Lyft’s office workers don’t have to put up with conditions like this, but because they refuse to properly classify drivers as employees, we have to go to extreme lengths for basic dignity.

We want to commend LAX officials for stepping up and working with drivers, even in the face of Uber and Lyft’s rampant law breaking and negligence.

This victory is just one more step on our path toward AB5 enforcement and a union. Never forget, when we fight, we win!


Con cientos de conductores reuniéndose en la camara del concilio de la ciudad y en las calles del centro de Los Angeles, el concililio municipal de Los Ángeles aprobó por unanimidad una moción el martes para instruir al personal de la ciudad a estudiar los salarios y los gastos comerciales de los conductores de viajes compartidos en Los Ángeles e incluir recomendaciones sobre cómo establecer un salario mínimo por hora en la ciudad, con una meta de lograr un mínimo de $ 30!

En la reunión especial del Comité de Desarrollo Económico antes de la reunión completa del concilio, los conductores Konstantine Anthony, Eduardo Belalcazar y Linda Valdivia testificaron sobre la diferencia que un salario por hora de $ 30 marcaría en sus vidas y las vidas de otros conductores.

Después de escuchar a los conductores, los concejales Curren Price y Mónica Rodríguez aprobaron la moción y la mandaron al cuerpo entero del concilio de la ciudad con algunas enmiendas. ¡Unos minutos más tarde, el concilio aprobó la moción por unanimidad!


Los conductores de MWA que habían estado en la cámara se dirigieron a los escalones del edificio de la ciudad, donde pronto se nos unieron cientos de conductores en una marcha de vehiculos que comenzo en Chinatown. Celebramos una conferencia de prensa triunfal donde nos acompañó el Pastor Cue de la Iglesia sin muros en Skid Row, la asambleísta Wendy Carrillo, coautora de la  AB5, el presidente del Concilio Municipal de Los Ángeles, Herb Wesson, quien presentó la moción, el alcalde de El Monte, Andre Quintero , que defendió $ 30 / hora en El Monte, y el presidente de SEIU Local 721 Bob Schoonover, junto con los conductores Armen Ogasyen, Manuel Ramos y Eduardo Belalcázar.

Mientras los conductores rodeaban el edificio de la ciudad en sus autos decorados con banderas MWA, un orador tras otro habló sobre cómo nuestra organización hizo posible esta histórica victoria. Uber y Lyft pueden tener miles de millones de dólares, pero nosotros tenemos el poder verdadero. ¡Tenemos el poder que viene de estar juntos como hermanos y exigir nuestros derechos!

Ganamos esta ronda, pero la lucha no ha terminado. ¡Estaremos atentos a lo que se le ocurre a la Oficina Administrativa de la Ciudad y listos para regresar al concilio para asegurarnos de que el concilio siga adelante!


Mientras tanto, sabemos que no podemos confiar en los gobiernos locales para responsabilizar a estas empresas, si queremos ganar un salario digno, beneficios y un trato justo para los conductores en todas partes, ¡debemos seguir luchando y exigir un sindicato!

¿Estás listo para unirte a nuestra lucha?

With hundreds of drivers rallying in city hall and on the streets outside, the LA City Council unanimously passed a motion Tuesday instructing city staff to study the wages and business expenses of rideshare drivers in LA and to include recommendations on how to establish a minimum hourly wage in the city, with a goal of a $30 minimum


In the special Economic Development Committee Meeting before the full council meeting, drivers Konstantine Anthony, Eduardo Belalcazar and Linda Valdivia testified as to what a difference a $30 hourly wage would make in their lives and the lives of other drivers.

After hearing from the drivers, Councilmembers Curren Price and Monica Rodriguez advanced the motion to full council with some amendments. A few minutes later, the full council approved the motion unanimously!

The MWA drivers who had been in the chamber headed to the steps of city hall, where we were soon joined by hundreds of drivers on a motor march from Chinatown. We held a triumphant press conference where we were joined by Pastor Cue of the Church Without Walls in Skid Row, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, a co-author of AB5, LA City Council President Herb Wesson, who introduced the motion, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, who championed $30/hr in El Monte, and President of SEIU Local 721 Bob Schoonover – along with drivers Armen Ogasyen, Manuel Ramos and Eduardo Belalcazar.

As drivers circled city hall in their cars decorated with MWA flags, speaker after speaker talked about how our organizing made this historic win possible. Uber and Lyft may have billions of dollars, but we have real power. We have the power that comes from standing side by side as brothers and sisters and demanding our rights!

We won this round, but the fight isn’t over. We’ll be keeping an eye on what the City Administrative Office comes up with and ready to head back to city hall to make sure the council follows through!

In the meantime, we know that we can’t rely on local governments to hold these companies accountable, if we want to win a living wage, benefits and fair treatment for drivers everywhere, we need to continue to fight for and demand a union!

Ready to join our fight?


AB5 has passed and Uber and Lyft are on the ropes. It’s time to show our strength with the biggest rideshare driver rally in history.

We’re through taking crumbs from billion dollar companies like Uber and Lyft, join hundreds of drivers and Los Angeles union members to demand more than just what Uber and Lyft are willing to give us. Join us and demand a union!

The details:

October 2, 2019
6101 W. Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
9 a.m.

Durante tres días, nuestra caravana de conductores de Uber y Lyft de la Alianza de Trabajadores Móviles recorrió casi 1,000 millas (916 para ser exactos) para llevar nuestra lucha por la AB5 y una unión directamente a la sede de Uber y al capitolio del estado de California.
Nuestra peregrinación comenzó el lunes por la mañana con un arranque desde  el centro de Los Ángeles, donde los conductores Linda Valdivia, Mike Robinson y Leonardo Díaz explicaron el propósito de nuestro viaje a los medios de prensa, y el reverendo Cue de la Iglesia “Church Without Walls”  y otros líderes religiosos del clero y Laicos Unidos por la Justicia Económica nos dieron la bendición cuando emprendimos nuestro largo viaje.

Nuestra primera parada fue en el famoso Forty Acres  en Delano, el sitio de las primeras oficinas de la Unión de Trabajadores del Campo (UFW). Fuimos recibidos por miembros de la UFW y dejamos una corona en homenaje a los valientes trabajadores del campo que allanaron el camino para nuestro viaje y al recuerdo de César Chávez.

Nos sentimos inspirados por los miembros de UFW que conocimos allí, que lucharon y superaron los mismos desafíos que enfrentamos hoy hace décadas.
Al igual que los trabajadores del campo, los conductores de viajes compartidos están repartidos por todo el estado. Muchos de nosotros somos inmigrantes, y todos nuestros empleadores nos maltratan habitualmente. Al igual que los trabajadores del campo, se nos dice una y otra vez que nuestra misión es demasiado difícil, que nunca podremos formar nuestra unión. 
Pero lo más importante, como los trabajadores del campo ¡vamos a ganar!
De hecho, fue el UFW quien inspiró nuestra caravana. En 1966, marcharon, a pie, en una peregrinación histórica desde Delano a Sacramento para crear conciencia sobre su explotación y exigir sus derechos.
Luego nos dirigimos a Fresno, donde realizamos un mitin con conductores locales y más miembros de la UFW fuera de la Cámara de Comercio de Fresno. La Cámara de Fresno, al igual que las cámaras de comercio en todo el estado, se ha opuesto abiertamente a AB5, alegando la mentira de que pondrá fin a nuestra supuesta flexibilidad.
Marchamos en sus puertas, presentando nuestras demandas escritas a mano de que dejen de apoyar a las compañías explotadoras y en lugar apoyen a los trabajadores.

Esa noche, durante la cena, escuchamos a proveedoras de cuidado infantil de SEIU 521 que también han estado luchando por un trato justo y respeto.
Con un día completo de solidaridad, nos fuimos descansar para un gran día en el Área de la Bahía de San Francisco. 
Sin tiempo que perder, nos despertamos a las 5 a.m. de la mañana siguiente y salimos a la carretera, llegando a San Francisco justo antes del mediodía, donde nos encontramos con nuestros hermanos y hermanas de Gig Workers Rising.

Juntos, llevamos nuestra auto caravana directamente a la sede de Uber y paramos todo el trafico en la famosa Market Street. Entre el gran sonido de los pitos de nuestros carros y con nuestras banderas volando alto, les llevamos nuestro mensaje directamente a las compañias.

Nos acompañó el aspirante presidencial Alcalde de South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, quien dijo: “¿Queremos un futuro donde no haya protecciones, sin sindicatos y los trabajadores no sean tratados como trabajadores? ¿O queremos un futuro con justicia?

Satisfechos de que Uber escuchó nuestro mensaje, cruzamos la bahía hacia Oakland para pasar una tarde compartiendo historias y construyendo solidaridad en la Iglesia Metodista Unida Taylor Memorial, que gentilmente nos acogió y alimentó.
El último día de nuestra caravana, llegamos a Sacramento a las 9 a.m. para comenzar nuestro último tramo hacia el capitolio. En una línea que se extendía por bloques, con legisladores y los medios mirando, bloqueamos las calles alrededor de la capital.

Mientras que la mayoría de nosotros manteníamos la cola en nuestros autos, el resto se unió fuera del capitolio por la autora de la Asamblea AB 5, Lorena González, y los senadores estatales María Elena Durazo y Connie Leyva. Los tres se manifestaron a favor del Proyecto de Ley 5 de la Asamblea, y en apoyo de nuestro movimiento para elevar los estándares para los trabajadores móviles en California.

Después de aproximadamente una hora, tomamos nuestra caravana hacia la Iglesia Ortodoxa Griega Anunciación, donde planeamos los siguientes pasos para hacer crecer nuestro movimiento en el primer Congreso Estatal de Conductores de Viajes Compartidos.

Con nuestra misión completada, nos despedimos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas de Gig Workers Rising y comenzamos el largo viaje a casa, compartiendo una última comida juntos en el camino.

AB5 se escuchará en el comité de asignaciones el viernes, antes de dirigirse al Senado para una votación y luego, con suerte, al escritorio del gobernador.
Una vez que el gobernador firme el proyecto de ley, entraremos en un mundo completamente nuevo, ya no seremos contratistas, seremos empleados y el próximo paso será forjar nuestra unión y, con ella, la capacidad de negociar como iguales con Uber y Lyft para un contrato que nos proporciona los salarios, beneficios, protecciones y flexibilidad que merecemos.
Hay un largo camino entre ahora y entonces, pero, al igual que los trabajadores del campo que nos inspiraron, sabemos que la lucha vale la pena y no nos rendiremos hasta que ganemos.
Por ahora, depende de nosotros construir poder haciendo crecer nuestro movimiento. ¡Habla con los conductores que conoces, cuéntales sobre nuestra pelea y envíalos a https://mobilealliance.org/join-the-fightpara inscribirte!

Video Recaps

Diá Uno
Diá Uno: Delano
Diá Dos: San Francisco

Over three days, our Mobile Workers Alliance caravan of Uber and Lyft drivers traveled nearly 1,000 miles (916 to be exact) to bring our fight for AB5 and a union straight to Uber HQ and the California state capitol.

Our pilgrimage began Monday morning with a kickoff in downtown Los Angeles, where drivers Linda Valdivia, Mike Robinson and Leonardo Diaz explained the purpose of our trip to the assembled media, and Rev. Cue of the Church Without Walls and other faith leaders from Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice blessed us as we set about our long journey.

Our first stop was at the famous Forty Acres in Delano, the site of the first United Farm Workers union hall. We were greeted by UFW members and left a wreath in tribute to the brave farm workers who paved the way for our journey and to the memory of Cesar Chavez.

We were inspired by the UFW members we met there, who fought and overcame the same challenges we’re facing today decades ago.

Like farm workers, rideshare drivers are spread out all across the state. Many of us are immigrants, and all of us are routinely mistreated by our employers. Like farm workers, we’re told over and over again that our mission is too difficult, that we’ll never be able to form our union.

But most importantly, like farm workers, we’re going to win!

In fact, it was the UFW who inspired our caravan. In 1966, they marched, on foot, in a historic pilgrimage from Delano to Sacramento to raise awareness of their exploitation and demand their rights.

We next headed to Fresno, where we held a rally with local drivers and more UFW members outside the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. The Fresno Chamber, like chambers of commerce all across the state, has been vocally opposed to AB5, pushing the lie that it will end our so-called flexibility.

We marched on their doors, bringing our handwritten demands that they stop supporting billionaire exploiters and instead stand with workers.

That evening during dinner, we heard from SEIU 521 childcare providers who have also been fighting for fair treatment and respect.

With a full day of solidarity under our belts, we turned in to rest up for a big day in the Bay Area.

With no time to waste, we woke up at 5 a.m. the next morning and hit the road, arriving in San Francisco just before noon, where we met our brothers and sisters from Gig Workers Rising.

Together, we brought our motor caravan directly to Uber HQ and shut down Market Street. As horns honked and flags flew, we brought our message to the belly of the beast.

Driver after driver shared their story of being abused and exploited by Silicon Valley hotshots who think they’re above treating workers with basic dignity. For more than an hour, traffic stopped and we made our message crystal clear – “AB5 and a union.”

We were joined by presidential hopeful South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who said, “Do we want a future where there are no protections, no unions, and workers are not treated as workers? Or do we want a future with justice?”

Satisfied that Uber heard our message, we crossed the bay to Oakland for an afternoon of sharing stories and building solidarity at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church, who graciously hosted and fed us.

On the last day of our caravan, we arrived in Sacramento at 9 a.m. to begin our final stretch toward the capitol. In a line that stretched blocks, with legislators and media watching, we blockaded the streets around the capital.

While most of us held the line in our cars, the rest were joined outside the capitol by AB 5 author Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, and State Senators Maria Elena Durazo and Connie Leyva. All three spoke out in favor of Assembly Bill 5, and in support of our movement to raise standards for gig workers across California.

After about an hour, we took our motorcade to Anunciation Greek Orthodox Church, where we planned next steps to grow our movement at the first ever Statewide Rideshare Drivers Congress.

In small groups, we learned how to win over naysayers who doubt our fight, plotted out ways to bring more drivers into MWA and were once again joined by Assemblymember Gonzalez and Senator Durazo, which was a great boost for those of us who were in our cars during the morning and missed their words of inspiration and confidence.

With our mission complete, we said goodbye to our Gig Workers Rising brothers and sisters and set off on the long journey home, sharing one last meal together along the way.

AB5 is set to be heard in the appropriations committee on Friday, before heading to the senate for a vote and then, hopefully, on to the governor’s desk.

Once the governor signs the bill, we’ll enter a whole new world, no longer contractors, we’ll be employees and the next step will be to forge our union and with it, the ability to bargain as equals with Uber and Lyft for a contract that provides us with the wages, benefits, protections and flexibility that we deserve.

There’s a long road between now and then, but, like the farm workers who inspired us, we know that the fight is worth it and we won’t give up until we win.

For now, it’s up to us to build power by growing our movement. Talk to the drivers you know, tell them about our fight and send them to https://mobilealliance.org/join-the-fight to sign up!

Video Recaps

Day One: Kickoff
Day One: Delano
Day Two: Uber Takeover

Press From Our Caravan

Day One



Day Two



Day Three




Three Day Caravan For AB5 & A Union

Mobile Workers Alliance is hitting the road! From August 26-28, hundreds of MWA members will be taking their cars across California in a historic motor pilgrimage for driver rights.

The journey is inspired by the United Farm Workers 1966 pilgrimage from Delano to Sacramento, led by Cesar Chavez. Like gig workers in California, farm workers were thought to be impossible to organize and their exploitation was taken as a given by the public at large. The UFW proved the doubters wrong and we will too.

Our caravan will begin in Los Angeles and wind through Delano, Fresno, San Francisco and Oakland, with a final stop in Sacramento, where we will hold a first-of-its-kind drivers congress with Uber and Lyft drivers from across the state. We’ll celebrate our victories, deepen our bonds from LA to the Bay and beyond, and plan our next steps for winning a union and the rights and benefits that we deserve.

Along the way, we’ll meet other drivers, union members, politicians and other allies in our fight and raise awareness of our struggle on California’s highways, in the heart of the tech sector and at the capitol.

Interested in joining us? Click the button below, fill out the form and we’ll get in touch. 

Mobile Workers Alliance Pilgrimage Itinerary

Monday, Aug. 26

10 a.m. – Depart Los Angeles
1 p.m. – Arrive in Delano and meet with United Farm Workers
3 p.m. – Leave Delano
4:30 p.m. – Arrive in Fresno
5 p.m. – Press conference with UFW, local allies and local drivers

Tuesday, Aug. 27

7 a.m. – Leave Fresno
11 a.m. – Arrive in San Francisco, join drivers from Gig Workers Rising
12 p.m. – Rally in SF
2 p.m. – Arrive in Oakland for driver round table

Wednesday, Aug. 28

7:30 a.m. – Leave Oakland
10 a.m. – Arrive in Sacramento, meet with politicians
12 p.m. – Press conference at capitol
2 p.m. – Rideshare Drivers Congress
5 p.m. – Return to LA

It was a triumphant Wednesday evening in El Monte, as MWA drivers packed the city council chambers to testify about our mistreatment at the hands of Uber and Lyft and ask the city council to move toward a $30 an hour living wage for drivers in El Monte.

When they heard about the challenges the we’re facing and the ways that Uber and Lyft exploit not just drivers, but also the public resources that we all share, El Monte City Council voted to instruct city officials to draft an ordinance establishing a $30 an hour wage for drivers in El Monte!

The $30 an hour is meant to provide drivers with a $15 an hour living wage and $15 an hour for vehicle expenses.

City officials will spend the next 120 days developing the ordinance, and will take driver utilization rates, waiting times, enforcement methods, and models developed by other cities into consideration.

“What happens to us as drivers also affects this community. If you raise wages to $30 an hour, you will be helping families like my own,” El Monte resident and rideshare driver Yadira Orozco said in Spanish during public comment.

Prior to the council meeting, more than 50 drivers held a rally outside city hall, sharing their stories and raising awareness of our demands.

“We’re not asking for the moon,” driver Linda Valdivia said. “All we’re asking for is enough money to live on and enough money to cover expenses. As it stands, we bring all of the capital to Uber and Lyft and they take home the profit.”

With the vote, El Monte becomes the first city in the United States to consider a $30 an hour rate for rideshare drivers. This is a huge step forward in the fight for drivers rights and against gig company exploitation.

We hope that other cities will follow the courageous example set by El Monte and its mayor André Quintero.

While we celebrate this victory, we’re not taking our eyes off the prize. AB5 continues to move closer to the governor’s desk and we’ll be ramping up our efforts in coming weeks to ensure not only that it passes, but that we win a path to a union.

With El Monte, and hopefully more cities, behind us, we’re only getting stronger. When we fight, we win!