Ride-hailing drivers across the country are striking today. After a record number of drivers left their positions creating a driver shortage, the ones that remain are fed up. As The Guardian reports, drivers are striking over working conditions, better pay, and protection under the Pro Act.
Passed in the House and endorsed by President Biden, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act or Pro Act is a piece of legislation aimed at protecting the rights of workers to organize. It would overturn large parts of the Taft-Hartley Act which, when it was passed in 1947, became the largest piece of anti-union legislation in U.S. history. From The Guardian:
The measure would ban a whole sheaf of actions used by employers to interfere with union organizing. These include “captive” meetings featuring anti-union propaganda, which workers are required to attend; firing workers engaged in union organizing; and misclassifying employees as independent contractors to deprive them of unionization rights.
The strikes are organized by a group called Rideshare Drivers United. A driver and member of the group described their frustrations:
“App-based workers are fed up with exploitation from big tech companies,” said Eve Aruguete a driver from Oakland and member of organizing group Rideshare Drivers United. “Misclassification is like concrete, keeping us underground. The Pro Act is the jackhammer that will break that concrete apart, allowing app-based workers to organize.”
Many drivers have felt less safe as state economies opened back up and travel surged, along with Covid cases among the unvaccinated with one driver saying “The pandemic really underscored for us our vulnerability when the market dried up,” he said. “Now is the time to take action.”
The strike is expected to last until tomorrow in places like L.A. (At LAX specifically) Las Vegas, Denver, even outside of Uber’s San Fransisco headquarters.