Leading the Fight for Driver Rights
In the face of mass exploitation at the hands of Uber, Lyft and other so-called gig companies, drivers have no choice but to organize and fight back! For the past year, Mobile Workers Alliance drivers have been leading that fight and scored some major victories. From AB5, to $30 hourly wage ordinances, to new bathrooms at LAX, to unemployment wins for drivers, MWA’s more than 18,000 members have been on a roll. Now we need you. The bigger we are, the more power we have.
Our first major action and show of force came in May 2019, when we unveiled our demand for $30 and union rights, shut down the Uber hub on Hobart Blvd, then joined striking food workers to shut down a McDonald’s.
After Lyft tried to deceive drivers into opposing AB5, which would grant us many new rights and protections, we took to the Lyft Hub in DTLA to let them know their scare tactics wouldn’t work.
MWA drivers joined our brothers and sisters in Gig Workers Rising for a demonstration outside the Uber HQ in San Francisco and lobbied state lawmakers to support AB5.
El Monte, CA becomes the first city in the nation to begin drafting a $30/hr ordinance for rideshare drivers, with $15 for expenses and $15 for take home pay.
Hundreds of drivers caravanned from LA to Delano, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento for a three-day, 1,000 mile protest, taking our demands directly to chambers of commerce, Uber and Lyft, elected leaders and the people of California.
On September 18, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB5 into law, a massive victory for drivers. This law reclassifies us from “independent contractors” to employees and entitles us to rights and protections like sick days, a minimum wage, and more.
With AB5 now law, drivers began the next phase of organizing – demanding a path to a union. We joined thousands of union workers at LAX for a Unions For All Rally and shut down the horseshoe with a line of cars stretching for blocks.
Two weeks later, we packed city hall in Los Angeles and gave testimony about what it’s really like to be a ride share driver. Our unity and testimony led LA to join El Monte in pursuing a $30 hourly wage for drivers!
MWA drivers embarked on a petition drive on Feb. 12, in response to the disgusting condition of the portable toilets in the LAX rideshare waiting lot. We collected more than 1,000 signatures in the first 24 hours. Less than two weeks after launching our campaign, LAX doubled the number of toilets, added hand washing stations and increased the cleaning schedule.
After one of our members was attacked on the job, we hosted free self-defense classes for drivers.
As the COVID-19 crisis upended life across the world, Mobile Workers Alliance sprung into action to protect drivers. We launched a pressure campaign and sent more than 16,000 emails to Uber and Lyft executives and board members demanding PPE for drivers, provided free masks and sanitizer to drivers, hosted multiple press conferences with drivers and elected leaders and made thousands of calls to drivers to help them apply for unemployment.
On May 5, California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced that he, along with the city attorneys of LA, San Francisco and San Diego, were suing Uber and Lyft for their refusal to abide by AB5 and reclassify drivers. This is a huge step toward enforcing the law and providing drivers with the rights and protections we deserve as employees.
Drivers and counting
The Gig Economy is a billion dollar industry. Drivers are the ones who produce all of that revenue. It’s time for fair wages that cover our expenses and give us at least $15 in take home pay.
Drivers deserve the same benefits as any other employee – sick days, vacation, retirement, insurance and all of the other necessities for thriving in California.
The gig economy business model relies on users being able to find a driver anytime, anywhere – which means drivers need the flexibility to work when and how often they want. Despite what the boss might tell you, this is completely possible for W2 employees and essential to the continued existence of the gig companies.
Bosses can promise whatever they want, but without a union contract, they can take it away tomorrow. A union gives us a voice at the table the power to negotiate for fair compensation and treatment for drivers.
Our fight isn’t over. We’ve been building power and winning for drivers, but in order win fair wages, benefits and, most importantly, a union, we need every driver in California to get organized and stand up for themselves. Use the form below to join the movement and we’ll get in touch soon. If another driver referred you to this page, include the number they gave you in the last field on the form.
“I’ve watched as Uber and Lyft have made billions while they treat us, the drivers who make their businesses run, as disposable. With Mobile Workers Alliance, I’ve seen thousands of people start to realize the power of our shared story and our shared struggle. My hope is that we continue to show up. Continue to bring new drivers into our movement. And continue to believe that ordinary people can make massive change.”
“We’re fighting for our rights, we’re fighting for a union and we’re fighting to keep one another safe. Together, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish. I am very proud to be one of the many, many women who are fighting to build a better world.”
“What we want is very simple – to be treated with dignity and respect by Uber and Lyft, to be able to meet our basic needs and support our families, to have a real voice in the work we do. We want AB5 and a union! By uniting around these shared goals, we have more power than Uber and Lyft and their billions of dollars.”