Uber and Lyft push again on Seattle mayor’s plan to pay drivers more cash

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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan unveiled a new proposal to extend pay for Uber and Lyft drivers and canopy bills akin to gasoline.

Durkan desires drivers to be paid not less than the Seattle minimal wage, or $16.39 per hour. The plan is a part of her “Fare Share” program introduced in September as a approach to lengthen town’s employee protections to gig economic system drivers.

Durkan will transmit laws to the Metropolis Council later this month, with plans to enact the minimal compensation customary on Jan. 1.

The town cited a College of California-Berkeley examine exhibiting that drivers in Seattle are making $9.73 per hour after bills, and that the brand new mandate would enhance pay for 84% of drivers with a median enhance in wages of 30%.

Uber and Lyft commissioned their very own study from Cornell College exhibiting that the standard driver earned $23 per hour in Seattle after bills.

Kevin Schofield of SCC Perception analyzed both studies last month and located that they “skew their analysis and recommendations in the direction that favors the one who commissioned their study.”

The “Fare Share” program, which elevated a tax on each Uber and Lyft ride this past November, is the newest in a sequence of regulatory complications for the mobility giants as regulators crack down on their labor practices.

Each corporations pushed again on the mayor’s announcement Thursday. Lyft referred to as it “unworkable” and “misguided regulation.” Right here’s the corporate’s full assertion:

“The mayor’s plan is unworkable. It will require TNCs to double pay drivers who’re utilizing a number of rideshare or supply platforms on the identical time, in addition to pay folks to easily have an app open, even when they don’t seem to be working. This sort of misguided regulation will truly destroy jobs for 1000’s of individuals and drive rideshare corporations out of Seattle.

Lyft has been clear that it helps good advantages for drivers with out taking away their independence or kicking folks off the platform. In California, Lyft is providing drivers as much as $367 per 30 days for well being care premiums, accident and incapacity insurance coverage, and a assured earnings ground that in Seattle would equal on common greater than $26 per hour with out kicking a single driver off the platform.”

Uber cited the same regulation in New York Metropolis handed in early 2019 that increased prices and drove down ride activity. Right here’s a press release from Uber:

“A nearly identical law in New York City led to massive driver protests and fewer transportation options in low-income communities in just the first year of its implementation. While we support the Mayor’s efforts to improve earnings for drivers, copying a New York City policy that resulted in a 20 percent price increase for riders and lost earnings opportunities for thousands of drivers will not help achieve our shared goals in Seattle.”

Peter Kuel, a Uber and Lyft driver in Seattle and president of the Drivers Union, a bunch affiliated with Teamsters Native Union 117, voiced help for the mayor’s proposal.

“The need for a Fair Pay Standard that combats racial inequity has never been more urgent than it is now for Black and brown immigrant drivers who are on the front lines of both the economic and public health impacts of the pandemic,” Kuel stated in a press release. “We thank the Mayor for introducing this urgently needed measure and are eager to work with City Council to build on the plan with improved transparency and living wage protections that benefit both riders and drivers.”

Drive Forward, an Uber-backed driver group in Seattle with practically 2,000 members, referred to as Durkan’s plan “disappointing.”

“If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, Americans are systemically reimagining the definition of work to a more flexible adaptive work-life balance,” Drive Ahead Govt Director Michael Wolfe stated in a press release. “Implementing the failed NYC system show’s Mayor Durkan and her office have not been listening to their constituents. Instead of embracing 21st Century thinking about work-life balance they are doubling down on 19th Century systems that will make drivers work when and where someone else tells them too.”

In June, the Seattle Metropolis Council unanimously approved legislation that requires meals supply corporations to pay drivers $2.50 per supply on prime of their common charges. The hazard pay is meant to offset prices and dangers that drivers are coping with through the pandemic, like buying protecting gear and cleansing automobiles between journeys.

This previous April, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Uber, and the Metropolis of Seattle agreed to walk away from a lengthy and complex legal battle over a regulation that may permit drivers to unionize.

Uber and Lyft, in the meantime, are in a heated authorized battle with California lawmakers over classifying drivers as workers. The businesses are threatening to leave the state by Aug. 20.

Each Uber and Lyft have seen ridership fall dramatically because of the pandemic. Lyft reported a 61% dip in income in the newest quarter, whereas Uber saw a 29% decline.

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