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.
MWA 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!!!
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!
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!
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!
Press From Our Caravan
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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