Uber, Lyft, DoorDash drivers strike on Valentine’s Day over low wages, safety

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other app-based drivers went on strike on Valentine’s Day to demand improved safety, wages and treatment, according to a coalition representing more than 130,000 drivers. 

“Uber, Lyft and delivery drivers are TIRED of being mistreated by the app companies. We’re sick of working 80 hours/week just to make ends meet, being constantly scared for our safety, and worrying about being deactivated with the click of a button,” the coalition, Justice for App Workers, said in a blog post. The coalition represents ride-share drivers and delivery workers from the East Coast and the Midwest. 

During the strike, drivers refused to take rides to or from airports in Austin, Texas; Chicago; Hartford, Connecticut; Miami; Newark, New Jersey; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Rhode Island; and Tampa, Florida, the coalition said.

The coalition did not respond to a media inquiry on the number of drivers involved in the strike. 

DoorDash said the company does not expect the strike to have “any significant impact” on Valentine’s Day.

“We’re always listening to Dashers and looking for ways to improve the platform. We’re extremely proud that millions of Dashers have turned to DoorDash to help reach their financial goals by earning how, when and where they want — and they’ve earned over $35 billion doing it,” DoorDash said in an emailed statement. 

Last year, DoorDash updated its earnings model for delivery workers, offering an option to earn by time, meaning Dashers were guaranteed an hourly minimum for the time they spent making deliveries. 

Likewise, Uber said it didn’t see an impact for riders. 

“Despite the headlines, we’ve seen no impact to our operations or reliability for riders. In fact, in most markets, there are more drivers on the road today than there were during the same period last week,” Uber said in an emailed statement. 

Lyft highlighted recent changes the company made to driver earnings — guaranteeing that drivers make 70% of weekly rider fares after external fees — and to the deactivation appeals process. 

“We are constantly working to improve the driver experience, which is why just this month we released a series of new offers and commitments aimed at increasing driver pay and transparency,” Lyft said in an emailed statement. 

Nationally, the median U.S. Lyft driver using a personal vehicle made $30.68 per hour of engaged time and $23.46 per hour after expenses during the second half of 2023, according to a white paper the company released Feb. 6. 

Uber drivers made $33 per utilized hour, the company’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during a fourth quarter earnings call, without going into further detail.