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Uber going public amid driver protests

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/09/19, 11:07 am

Some drivers for ride-hailing company Uber turned off their apps on Wednesday morning to protest low wages ahead of the company’s initial public offering on Friday. Demonstrations took place in 10 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, as well as some European locations. It was unclear how many drivers participated in the strike, and its effect on customers seemed minimal.

Uber has nearly 4 million drivers around the world, some of whom believe their status as contract workers instead of employees is unfair. Contractors for Lyft, which launched its IPO last month, also participated in the strike.

“Drivers are at the heart of our service—we can’t succeed without them—and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road,” the company said in a statement.

Uber lost nearly $8 billion over a decade, and its financial situation would only worsen if its contractors became employees entitled to benefits. Lyft is in a similar position. Uber is hoping to raise $9 billion from the IPO.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 05/09/2019 03:40 pm

    Apparently, for some investors, it must be a no-brainer to jump all over the IPO of a company that lost $8,000,000,000 (!!) over the past 10 years. A company that many believe mercilessly exploits its drivers, no less.  

    But I’m just not smart enough to understand high finance, so I’m gonna pass. 

  • JerryM
    Posted: Thu, 05/09/2019 06:46 pm

    The uberisation of the workforce is a (very) concerning trend that extends far beyond just Uber or Lyft.