Louisville ride share drivers join national strike for more benefits, higher wages

Updated: May. 8, 2019 at 6:13 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Many ride share drivers work for both Lyft and Uber, which allows them to pick up more work as they need it. While the gigs give employees flexibility, concerns have surfaces as Uber prepares to go public.

Drivers around the country organized Wednesday with concerns about their working conditions going forward. That included drivers in Louisville.

Though the group of demonstrators wasn’t quite as mighty as other spots, like New York City, most drivers said they just wanted to bring any kind of attention to the challenges they often face.

“It’s harder to make money,” driver Lisa Schmid said. “Drivers are putting miles on their car and wear and tear. A lot of them do it full time to support their families.”

Schmid drives five to eight hours a day and claims she has experienced rates decreasing for the past three years. When she started, she said she was making about a dollar per mile. Now it’s close to 70 cents.

“I haven't seen a bonus in a long time,” Schmid said.

Uber and Lyft drivers have both complained of lower wages over the past few years.
Uber and Lyft drivers have both complained of lower wages over the past few years.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

In a statement, Lyft said “We’re constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community.” The statement also said Lyft drivers’ hourly earnings have increased 7 percent over the last two years.

Schmid said for her that hasn’t been the case. She drives more hours to make just as much as before. For all her work she would like access to benefits.

“With any part time job they will offer you benefits as a buy in,” Schmid said. “I’m not saying give it away for free.”

Both Uber and Lyft have said publicly they would suffer financially if they offered their drivers full-time benefits and higher wages. Schmid said something must change otherwise the back bone of their business model may break.

“Lyft and Uber really need to take a hard look at who is making the money for them,” Schmid said. “The drivers who are out there being friendly, driving people, having messes in their car, car repairs. They need to take a look at that because that is their back bone.”

Uber’s IPO filing is on Friday it’s expected to be valued for more than $80 billion.

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