Solidarity with Rideshare Strike!
On the morning of May 8th Uber and Lyft drivers around the country in several major cities will be striking for job security, livable wages, and fairer commissions on fare rates. This strike was provoked by a 25% pay cut for all Uber drivers and is the second work stoppage by Uber and Lyft drivers this year, with a previous several thousand strong action having taken place in March. The strike was initiated by Ride Share Drivers United, a professional driver advocacy group, but has been endorsed by various drivers unions such as the NYTWA. Drivers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, D.C., and other cities will join in a 24 hour stoppage and demonstrate at their respective city’s Lyft and Uber headquarters. Workers Power and the League for the Fifth International extend Solidarity to the strikers!
With the 2008 recession has come a loss of job security and diminished wages for many. As a result a “gig economy” has burgeoned causing many workers to seek out a second job as freelance “gig” workers in order to make up for lost income, and has caused even more to look to these careers for full time work due to lacking job opportunities. As of this year nearly 16 million people work full time as gig workers. These new industries will, as all capitalist firms do, seek to squeeze as much profit as possible out of their workers. Forcing drivers to use their own cars, pay for their own gas, and pay for their own maintenance while the bosses merely provide the app connecting driver with passenger. Using legalistic handwaving so as to label their workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, meaning these professional drivers have none of the benefits or minimum wage guarantees most other workers are entitled to. This shifting of production costs onto the worker and denial of basic benefits and wages hasn’t been enough for the bosses, who now seek to attack the drivers pay once again. Workers within the “gig economy” find themselves in ever more precarious positions with ever worsening pay while the shareholders rake in billions of dollars.
While sporadic strikes such as these may be able to garner temporary concessions, professional drivers and all workers will need an organized worker’s movement to fully bring the bosses to heel. A mass revolutionary worker’s party is necessary to fight the bosses, wage cuts and capitalist greed will only be ended by a socialist revolution, the expropriation of all large industries by the workers, and the contraction of a worker’s state. We extend solidarity to the drivers in their fight against the bosses and their wage cuts.