Uber, Lyft drivers nationwide prepare to strike Wednesday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On the heels of Uber's highly anticipated IPO, drivers in cities around the country - including San Francisco - are preparing to strike on Wednesday.

"Let them stand up for their rights," Benny Powers, an Uber rider, said. "Unionize. Why not?"

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The strike will include Lyft drivers as well. According to Business Insider, drivers feel their working conditions are geared towards corporate level employees.

Drivers have released a series of demands, including increased job security, livable incomes, and a cap on the companies' commission.

"We have to pay for our own gas," Gary Sparer, a Lyft driver said. "We have to pay for our own health insurance. If I get sick, I don't make money. I work probably seven days a week."

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Charley Park drives for both Uber and Lyft. He said Uber takes 25 percent of the total fare cost, while Lyft takes 20 percent. Park believes if a driver wants to make driving worth it, it's all about strategy.

"You have to be smart about it," Park said. "Hit the local routes. I'll catch riders that need to catch another flight. It depends on the days, too. Then, I cut myself off. I take a big break. But, I will tell you this, Uber and Lyft both cut us drivers off. They basically don't want us driving more than eight hours straight."

Park said he switches between Lyft and Uber apps so he doesn't get cut off. Frustration has been building among drivers in the last couple of months, especially as Lyft's IPO grew closer. The company made its Nasdaq debut in March.

"The fact that they can make their own hours is kind of a positive on their end, but they shouldn't have to be working around the clock in order to be making enough for sure," Sophie Vanbastelaer, a passenger said.

It's unclear what kind of impact the strike could have in San Francisco, but drivers ABC7 News talked to hope it sends a message.

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