SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — For many residents living in the Bay Area, paying for an Uber is a part of everyday life, but for those who drive for Uber, a living wage is not.
“We are barely getting paid even below minimum wage after deducting our expenses and everything,” one driver said.
Drivers gathered in front of Uber’s headquarters on Market Street Wednesday to demand higher pay. They say over the last few years Uber has been taking a larger cut of the fares.
“Uber started off cutting 5 percent of how much money they take and give to drivers. Right now their policy is actually vague. Sometimes they take 50 percent, sometimes they actually take 70 percent.”
Many drivers don’t even live in San Francisco.
“We can’t afford to live in the city, and we can’t afford to work anywhere but the city because the rates are too low elsewhere,” another driver said.
“I can’t afford to live in the Bay Area. I have to commute from Sacramento because I can only afford to live in Sacramento so I have to drive 100 miles, leave my kids at home,” another Bay Area driver said.
While many drivers protested, it didn’t appear to impact the number of drivers available in the area.
“I gotta make money so I don’t have time for all that. I’m just going to work all day,” said one Uber driver who chose not to protest on Wednesday.
Whether they chose to drive or protest, their message is simple.
“We want fair pay for fair work, we want transparency in the policies and procedures, we want a voice in how those policies and procedures are formed, and we want worker protections such as benefits like every other employee has been guaranteed over the course of time.”
An Uber spokesperson sent out a statement saying:
“Drivers are at the heart of our service — We can’t succeed without them — and thousand of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road. Whether it’s more consistent earnings, stronger insurance protections or fully-funded four-year degrees for drivers or their families, we’ll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers.”
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