In New York, hundreds of Uber drivers are currently on strike after the company recently decided to reduce fare prices in NYC by 15 percent. The NYC Uber strike will reportedly last for 72 hours, and over 400 drivers gathered outside the company’s Queens headquarters to protest, the New York Post reports.
The upset drivers claim that Uber continues to cut into their earnings without cutting into its own take from each ride. They say the company needs to either raise the fares again, lower its commission, or ideally both, CBS New York wrote.
“Uber used to charge $3 a mile. There used to be 10 percent commission,” Uber driver Inder Parmer was quoted as saying. “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. I would just ask American public if their salary is decreased by 45 percent in two years, how will they feel?”
The company has about 30,000 registered vehicles in the city of New York. Mohammed Rahman, a driver from the Bronx who has been in business for two decades, said the reduction rate is too deep, because drivers still have to pay for their own insurance as well as gasoline for their vehicles.
“Before, we made little, not much — but enough to feed the family,” said the father of two. “But this is really, really bad.”
In a statement, Uber stood by their decision to cut fares by 15 percent and they said that, according to their calculations, the tariff reduction actually benefits drivers because it increases the number of customers.
Regarding the matter, an Uber spokesperson released the following statement to Gawker.
“Every city has has busy months and slow times. In New York things tend to be quieter after the holidays. So we lowered prices to get more people using Uber, which is good for drivers because it means less time waiting around for trips. Since the price cut drivers have spent spent 39 [percent] less time between trips which has increased average hourly earnings by 20 [percent] compared to two weekends before. This is similar to what happened last time we cut prices. As we have always said price cuts need to work for drivers. if for any reason they are not, we will roll them back as we have done in other cities before.”
The popular ride-sharing app announced the reduction of tariffs on Friday. A company spokesman said its data shows that the rate reduction is actually helping drivers make more money by attracting more customers to the business. As the above statement explained, Uber says that since the fare reduction went into effect, driver earnings have gone up 20 percent, compared to the prior two weekends before the fare cut. However, some drivers refuse to believe this. One such driver is Abdoul Diallo, who was also one of the protest organizers.
“That’s a lie,” Diallo said, shaking his head. “It doesn’t take a math degree to know that less does not mean more.”
The drivers who are responsible for organizing the NYC Uber strike were calling for others to participate in the strike by passing out fliers and via social media. However, thousands of Uber cars remain on the road, and it seems like the NYC Uber strike will have little to no effect on the company’s earnings.
[Image via Twitter video screenshot]