An Uber Labor Movement Born in a LaGuardia Parking Lot

By : newyorker – excerpt

Last Tuesday afternoon, at LaGuardia Airport’s Lot 7, fifty Uber drivers logged out of the app and staged a strike. Lot 7 is where drivers typically wait to pick up arriving passengers, and it was full of rows of black and gray sedans and S.U.V.s. The protesters stood at the entrance to the lot, holding hand-drawn signs that read, “Support us we have family too” and “Bring back rates to where they were!” Any car leaving to take a job had to pass through the gauntlet. If the crowd determined that the driver was working for Uber, it slapped signs against the driver’s windows, blew plastic whistles, and shouted, “Shame!” and “You work for Uber; you are a slave!”

On January 29th, Uber had reduced fares in more than eighty cities in the U.S. and Canada. Drivers in some of those cities, including San Francisco, San Diego, Tampa, and New York City, have reacted with strikes and protests. One of the many barriers to sustainable organizing for those working for sharing-economy apps like Uber and Lyft is that the flexible, cloud-based nature of the service creates a relatively tenuous connection to other workers. Uber drivers have protested policy changes in the past, but this round appears to be more widespread and intense than before… (more)

Add this to the fact that Uber was one of the Super Bowl sponsors that was supposed to be the driver of choice for the audience, and they could not pick people up after the Super Bowl because they couldn’t get there. All the traffic was moving against them.

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