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[Photo: Reinhard Hunger for Fast Company]

Uber Protests: October 22nd

Drivers for Uber and other ridesharing services are protesting outside Uber's Santa Monica headquarters on October 22nd. Fast Company's Neal Ungerleider checks out the scene.

Drivers for Uber and other ridesharing services are protesting outside Uber's Santa Monica, California headquarters. 

Thanks to its sprawling nature and decentralized public transit system, Los Angeles is one of Uber's most lucrative markets. 

A Teamsters-affiliated organization called CADA (California App-Based Drivers Association is behind the protests; CADA says their aim is to organize independent contractor drivers for Uber and other ride-sharing services for collective bargaining under Teamsters representation. In conjunction with the protest, drivers are being asked to participate in a "digital walkout"--in other words, turn their app off for three hours so they won't collect any fares.

In an email to Fast Company, CADA co-founder and UberX driver Joseph DeWolf Sandoval characterized the group's grievances and accusations: that Uber is opposed to negotiating with drivers as a group, what Sandoval describes as arbitrary firing by Uber without any appeals process for the driver, that Uber and Lyft's price war has reduced the amount of money drivers bring home, that Uber increased commissions on drivers at the same time fares were being reduced, that Uber's rating systems for drivers leaves them unable to respond to sexual harassment, insults, or illegal behavior, and--most interestingly--that UberX, UberBlack, UberPlus, and UberSUV services don't include any tips for the drivers.

Read more about why labor unions are trying to organize Uber drivers here.

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