Uber Drivers take to the streets to protest low wages
Tampa, FL Uber drivers are taking their message of low wages to the streets this Saturday, January 23rd. Starting at Midnight, drivers will start a rolling procession through some of Tampa’s busiest areas, with the Uber app off.
The first targeted work stoppage was carried out last Saturday, January 16th. Drivers assembled for the first rolling rally, which included the bar districts in Ybor City, Channelside, and South Howard Ave. Some cars read, “I can’t drive for $.65,” or “Veteran can’t support family on $.65,” referring to Uber’s new rate of $.65 a mile.
Organizers say the first rally far exceeded expectations. Drivers anger is increasing as they are now feeling the effects of lower pay.
While many drivers have quit entirely, others now say they’re working for roughly the same wage as a server. They say the only way they can make money with the new rates is if passengers tip; an option that the app does not have, and Uber actively discourages.
Other drivers refuse to drive unless the company is offering the controversial “surge pricing.” With lower numbers of drivers on the road this week, drivers have seen higher surge rates, and surges occurring more often. Many are predicting surge rates over 10X’s for Gasparilla. Last year’s Gasparilla saw sustained surge rates of 7-8X’s when the rate was $1.20/mile.
Organizers ask that passengers plan for alternative transportation options this weekend, and if protests need to continue, through Gasparilla weekend and beyond.
For those who want specifics on this Saturday’s route, contact Desmond Clark, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (727) 235-1414. Future work stoppages and protest routes will announced in advance so passengers can plan alternative transportation. Drivers looking to participate can find more info at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TampaBayRideShare/