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Uber Drivers Plan Protest Ahead Of The Ride-Hailing Company’s Planned $9 Billion IPO

Uber Drivers Protest

Once again, there is tension between Uber drivers and the ride-hailing company in major cities across the US and the UK. Uber drivers plan to strike on Wednesday over unsteady working conditions and low wages.

Seen as an international demonstration in advance over Uber Technologies Inc.’s planned initial public offering (IPO) this Friday, driver groups in London and environs alongside those in the US said they would turn off their apps at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. They also hinted that they would participate in the strike, encouraging users to shun the apps as well. 

Uber Drivers Plan To Disrupt Uber’s IPO.

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Bloomberg reports that at hand is a long-standing clash between the ride-hailing firms and professional drivers, who say the platforms have made it tough to make a living in the industry. Thus, the demands from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, included:

  1. Boosting job stability by ending “unfair deactivations”
  2. Raising driver pay and increasing regulation of fares while guaranteeing drivers a larger cut

Some groups also called for drivers to be classified as employees. This is a move that would have reflective implications for the ride-hailing business model if enacted by governments. 

The protests will be conversant to anyone who was tracking Lyft Inc.’s IPO, which valued the company at $25 billion in March this year. As the business pitched itself to investors, protesters made an effort to picket the company’s roadshow, resulting in San Diego and Los Angeles drivers embarking on a strike.

Uber’s Plans To Salvage The Situation Amidst Its IPO Event This Week.

Uber said in a statement on Tuesday that “Uber drivers are at the heart of our service—we can’t succeed without them.” The ride-hailing company also said it would “continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers” and that those efforts could include moving toward “more consistent earnings, stronger insurance protections or fully-funded four-year degrees for drivers or their families.” 

The demonstrations around Uber is anticipated to be even bigger. The company, which is expected to commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange this week, has mandate to sell as much as $9 billion worth of stock in a deal that would value the business at $84 billion. It is probably going to be one of the ten largest IPOs of all time in the U.S.

Uber said in its IPO filing that it had paid $837 million in “excess driver incentives” last year. But there seems to be no easy way to satisfy the drivers’ calls for higher wages, and the investors’ demands that Uber finally make money. The company reported that it had an operating loss of about $3 billion last year, and its growth rate has slowed down in recent quarters, indicating that margins may have to rise appreciably for it to turn a profit.

Implications Of Uber Drivers Strike To Commuters.

The protests could make difficult shuttles in several of the world’s largest business centers. In London and other UK cities, organizers are requesting for a strike that would last from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the boycott in New York will last only through the morning rush hour.

About Uber And Its Expected $84 Billion Valuation.

Uber is a transportation network company offering services which includes peer-to-peer ride sharing, ride service hailing, food delivery, and a bicycle-sharing system with operations in 785 metropolitan areas worldwide. Uber is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

Uber plans to commence trading its stocks on the New York Stock Exchange this week in an initial public offering of $9 billion worth of stock which would value the company at $84 billion.

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