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Thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers are expected to log off today in a mass protest

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As Lyft and Uber prepare to go public in the coming months, each ride-sharing giant is scrambling to present its best face to potential investors. But aggrieved drivers aim to give each company a black eye today with protests that claim the companies have consistently cut fees and kept drivers in the dark about how payment and other decisions are made.

In San Francisco, an alliance of contract drivers called Gig Workers Rising aims to mobilize a few hundred drivers to picket outside Lyft’s presentation to potential IPO investors at a downtown hotel.

In Los Angeles County, the group Rideshare Drivers United estimates that thousands of drivers will strike by logging off the Uber and Lyft networks for 25 hours, with some also protesting outside Uber’s Greenlight Hub (a driver-assistance center) in the city of Redondo Beach from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A group of San Diego driver activists is following Los Angeles’s model, aiming to get several hundred Lyft and Uber drivers to log off today and protest at the city’s airport.

Uber and Lyft have long faced protests and lawsuits over pay and labor practices. (In the latest case, Uber agreed to pay $20 million to settle driver claims that they should be classified as employees, not contractors.) But today’s protests were triggered by pay changes each company began in late 2018.

In December, for instance, Uber began to increase the fee it pays per minute to better compensate San Francisco drivers stuck in........

© Fast Company