Uber, Lyft, Doordash drivers strike at O'Hare Airport, demanding better wages and safety

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Rideshare drivers strike on Valentine's Day
Rideshare drivers across the country are on strike Wednesday, including at O'Hare Airport, demanding better pay and safer working conditions.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Rideshare drivers across the country are on strike Wednesday, including at O'Hare Airport, demanding better pay and safer working conditions.

Thousands of ride hailing and delivery drivers for Uber, Lyft and Doordash are participating in a one-day strike across the country.

The striking drivers did not provide rides to and from airports in 10 U.S. cities Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There was no way to quantify how many drivers participated in the one-day strike, but even during the two-hour time frame of the rally, pickup times and fares from O'Hare to downtown remained pretty much the same.

SEE ALSO: Flight attendants picket at Chicago O'Hare Airport, demanding new contracts and higher wages

Dozens of ride share drivers rallied in support of higher wages and better working conditions, which they say have deteriorated significantly, with riders taking home a smaller percentage of the fare than they used to.

The Justice For App Workers Coalition says drivers are tired of working 80 hours a week to make ends meet and they are constantly scared for their safety following several recent violent and even fatal attacks against ride share drivers Chicago.

"In the last year and a half, we used to get 70%, now we're getting 25 to 40%," said Saul Garcia of the Chicago Gig Alliance.

Uber says in the last quarter of 2023 drivers earned on average $33 an hour. Lyft puts the number just under $31.

"I've been driving since 2015. I've got a 4.99 rating. I've had passengers from all over the world in my car and I want the freedom and flexibility to work when I want to work without being penalized financially by having Uber take a portion a large portion of my pay," said Jocilyn Floyd, who drives for Uber.

Others have given up, or are close to it. David Fox supports those striking, but didn't participate.

"I'm afraid I'm going to miss a ride. I came here all this way. And sit here for this long," he said.

Drivers also said they want the rideshare companies to verify users accounts to make sure they're not fake. They also want more transparency when it comes to their pay.

Uber said they continue to add new safety features to the app to protect drivers.

Lyft said they are constantly working to improve the driver experience and that they just released a series of new offers and commitments this month aimed at increasing driver pay and transparency.

There is an ordinance pending in the Chicago City Council that organizers say would require rideshare companies operating within Chicago to address many of the issues drivers have, but while it appears to have the support of a majority of aldermen, a vote has yet to be scheduled.