Ride-Share Drivers Plan Strike for Better Pay and Benefits

Drivers plan to turn off the ride-hailing apps during the morning rush hour, and some plan to stop working all day.

Some Uber and Lyft drivers are planning to strike Wednesday, a call that's being answered across the country, including in Connecticut.

They plan to turn off the ride-hailing apps during the morning rush hour, and some plan to stop working all day.

They’re fighting for better pay and benefits.

If you order a ride on Lyft or Uber, you might see Rosana Olan pull up.

“I like driving. That’s why I got in,” Olan said.

But the West Haven woman is growing frustrated behind the wheel.

She says in just the last year she’s watched her pay per ride drop.

“We depend on this. So it was no more fun for us,” Olan said.

Now she and other drivers around the country plan to strike on Wednesday, some from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. while others plan to be out all day.

They’re demanding better pay and treatment from Uber and Lyft, plus for the ride-hailing companies to support a bill that is moving through at the Capitol.

“We’re seeing in the case of Uber and Lyft they’re doing very well,” State Sen. Matt Lesser (D – Middletown) said.

Lesser is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 989, which among other things would require that drivers keep at least 75-percent of the paid fare.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure those folks who are working for Uber get paid a fair wage, a percentage of your fare that is reasonable, fair and protects their rights,” Lesser said.

In a statement, an Uber spokesman wrote in part:

“If this bill passed drivers would have to pay as much as $4,500 a year more in insurance costs out of their own pockets, and it would make it significantly harder for people in CT to hail an Uber."

Uber also highlighted its incentives for drivers.

As for Lyft, a spokesman tells NBC Connecticut, on average drivers make more than twenty bucks an hour and that, “We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people.”

Olan says some drivers are already thinking about taking other jobs, especially with fears their pay rates will be cut even more.

“I’m just hoping they can fix this soon,” Olan said.

This all comes days before Uber’s initial public offering, which could value the company upwards of $90-billion.

Many drivers feel shortchanged as the company’s founders could become very rich.

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