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Why Uber, Lyft And Deliveroo Workers Are Striking On Valentine's Day In US And UK

On Valentine's Day, thousands of ride-hailing and food delivery drivers in the United States and the United Kingdom are set to strike, demanding fair pay and improved working conditions from companies like Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Deliveroo, and others. This coordinated action underscores the ongoing challenges faced by gig workers in the digital economy.


Uber And Lyft Drivers Plan Valentine's Day Strikes Photo: AP

Thousands of drivers for ride-hailing services and food delivery riders in both the United States and the United Kingdom were gearing up to strike on Valentine's Day, citing grievances related to pay and working conditions.

In the United States, the campaign group Justice for App Workers expressed their frustration in a recent blog post, stating that Uber and Lyft drivers, along with DoorDash riders, were “sick of working 80 hours/week just to make ends meet.”

The organization, claiming to represent 130,000 drivers and delivery workers throughout the East Coast and Midwest, stated that its members intend to cease providing rides to and from all airports in 10 cities, including Chicago and Miami, for a duration of two hours on Wednesday, 11 am to 1 pm.


“Join Justice for App Workers from 11am-1pm on Wednesday, February 14, as we demand changes from Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and all the app companies profiting off of our hard work!” the campaign group emphasized, though they did not specify the strike plans for DoorDash workers.

Where are Uber and Lyft drivers striking in US?

Uber and Lyft drivers are striking at airports in 10 cities, which include:











In the UK, a representative of the campaign group Delivery Job UK stated that over 3,000 food delivery riders are anticipated to participate in a five-hour strike on Wednesday, as reported by CNN.


The riders involved in the strike predominantly speak Portuguese and operate across various platforms such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Just Eat. The spokesperson noted that the riders have experienced a decline in their earnings in recent years due to reductions in the delivery fees imposed on customers by the companies.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, the UK group said, “Our request is simple: We want fair compensation for the work we do. We are tired of being exploited.”

“Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, but it should not overshadow our struggle,” it added.

The protests come approximately a week following Lyft's announcement of guaranteed weekly earnings for drivers, a first in the U.S. ride-hailing sector aimed at attracting more drivers to its platform.

A spokesperson from Lyft stated that the company is “constantly working to improve the driver experience." They mentioned that Lyft has recently implemented a minimum weekly earnings guarantee to ensure that drivers consistently earn at least 70% of rider fares after deducting external fees.

A representative from Just Eat emphasized the company's profound concern for its riders' issues.

“Our data shows that couriers delivering for Just Eat earn, on average, significantly over both the London and national living wage for the time they are on an order,” the spokesperson said.

Nicole Moore, president of the California-based Rideshare Drivers United union, stated to Reuters on Sunday, "A year into algorithmic pricing, drivers have seen incredible decrease of our pay... whatever calculations and algorithms they're using, it's absolutely useless."


In 2021, Uber made history by acknowledging a labor union for the first time. The company announced that GMB, one of Britain's largest unions, had gained the authorization to advocate for up to 70,000 Uber drivers nationwide.

What do Uber and Lyft drivers make?

According to data from the gig-work data tracking app Gridwise, during the second quarter of 2023, the average gross hourly pay for Lyft drivers was $21.44, while Uber drivers earned $18.80 per hour.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated during the company's fourth quarter earnings call, the drivers made $33 per utilized hour in the fourth quarter, as cited by Reuters.


A Lyft white paper reported that drivers earned $30.68 gross per hour of engaged time in the second half of 2023.