Uber drivers went on strike beginning Monday morning [February 1] after a fare cut was announced to keep customers happy.
The strike took place in front of the Uber office in Queens, NY, where more than 100 drivers stood holding up signs that read “Respect the Drivers” as they shouted “Shame on Uber!” The drivers said Uber continues to cut into their earnings without cutting into their own cut from each ride. They claim Uber needs to raise the fare again, lower commission or both.
Last week, Uber cut the price by 15 percent, ideally making more work for drivers. UberX went from $3 to $2.55 with the per mile rate going from $2.15 to $1.75. UberXL saw similar cuts as well.
“Uber used to charge $3 a mile. There used to be 10 percent commission. They dropped the price to $2.55. The commission was increased to 20 percent. Now the commission is getting increased to 25 percent and the price is getting dropped by another 15 percent,” said Inder Parmer, an Uber driver.
Uber told driver in a note on Sunday that “Partners spent 39 percent less time waiting for a trip while online this weekend when compared to two weekends ago. Our goal was to turn your unpaid time online into paid time, and we have already seen a 20 percent increase in hourly earnings for partners.”
But drivers beg to differ. And to make matters worse, drivers finance their vehicles and while Uber offers assistance with financing cars, it comes with high interest rates.
Uber says if the cuts don’t work after a few months, they will bring back old prices, but drivers want the old price low.