In response to Uber’s recent decision to slash fare prices in New York City by 15%, hundreds of Uber drivers are participating in a daylong strike on Monday. Coupled with the strike is an ongoing protest in Long Island City, where Uber’s NYC division is headquartered.
The price reduction, which was put into effect on Friday, was proposed to stir up demand, which has slowed in the winter months; Uber argued that the move would ultimately increase revenue for drivers. (The company also claimed it would reverse the change if revenue didn’t go up.) But many drivers have not found that to be true in the past three days—and the strike is their way of showing their disdain for Uber’s policies.
The irony, of course, is that by taking a slew of drivers off the road, the strike actually serves as a good opportunity for other drivers to profit from surge pricing, the fare increase that Uber imposes when demand is high:
In a statement to Gawker, an Uber spokesperson said the following:
Every city has busy months and slow times. In New York things tend to be quieter after the holidays. So we lowered prices to get more people using Uber, which is good for drivers because it means less time waiting around for trips. Since the price cut, drivers have spent spent 39% less time between trips, which has increased average hourly earnings by 20% compared to two weekends before. This is similar to what happened the last time we cut prices. As we have always said, price cuts need to work for drivers. if for any reason they are not, we will roll them back, as we have done in other cities before.