Organizers from a broad spectrum of groups are calling for demands including greater job security, a livable income, more transparency in the ride-hailing companies' fare systems and a cap on the companies' commissions to guarantee that drivers receive 80 to 85 percent of a fare.
The protests have been purposefully planned to take place just ahead of Uber's expected public-trading debut on Friday - one of the biggest moments in the company's 10-year history.
Lyft Inc's stock slumped almost 11% on Wednesday to a record low after the ride-hailing company posted a deep quarterly loss, putting pressure on Uber Technologies Inc as it prepares to price its initial public offering. Meanwhile, they've said their pay keeps going down as their costs go up.
And those challenges come on top of a basic legal challenge: Uber and Lyft classify drivers as independent contractors, not employees.
Some people toted signs saying "Uber CEO: $43 million/year, Uber driver: $9/hour" and "Uber you are driving us to poverty".
An Uber representative told CNet that it is working with drivers to improve their experience. "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". "Meanwhile, these companies are getting rich", Kevin Raghu, a Lyft driver and NYTWA member, said in a statement.
Nevertheless, the new European Union decision rules and Uber's pushback against them indicate two things as Uber prepares to go public: there remain legal and regulatory challenges to the employment arrangement at the heart of Uber's business, and Uber remains firmly dug in on its stance.More news: Trump doesn't want McGahn to testify in Congress
Uber said past year it would double down on India investments after it sold its Southeast Asia business to Singapore's Grab Holdings. Activists have suggested Uber may remove surge pricing for riders to make it look like the strike is not effective, or raise surge pricing on the drivers' apps to incentivize them to break the strike. However, it could be more hard to secure a ride anywhere at the airport Wednesday.
In New York, striking drivers shut down their services at 7 a.m. and planned to remain inactive until 9 a.m., though it was still easy to locate a driver during rush hour near Wall Street in lower Manhattan on Wednesday.
In New York, the alliance was expecting most of its 10,000 app drivers to participate in the stoppage as well as some non-members.
The Guild organized a caravan of Uber drivers across the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday.
The two sides settled that dispute past year in a deal that required Uber to give Alphabet another bundle of stock that was worth $245 million at the time the truce was reached.
We're just days out from Uber making its multibillion-dollar move to the New York Stock Exchange and thousands of drivers from around the world are preparing to launch a series of strikes protests on Thursday in an effort to fight for better pay and better treatment.
Money: "Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Striking This Week". "Look at how to help drivers make their living and survive". Protests are reportedly expected in at least eight US cities, including Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia. The demonstrators also take issue with Uber's IPO filings with the SEC, which predict incentives for drivers will drop.