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KC man planning national strike against Uber

Posted: 1:00 PM, Sep 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-30 14:00:38-04
KC man planning national strike against Uber

If the ride-sharing service Uber does not meet some drivers' demands for better wages, those drivers are promising a national strike on Oct. 16 through the 18th. Abe Husein, a former Uber driver who lives in Kansas City is organizing the national strike on Facebook .

Husein said he was an Uber driver in Kansas City from March to August. After two months on the job, Husein realized that after expenses he was earning less than minimum wage. He claims he tried to inform and organize other drivers to collectively ask for a rate increase. In August, Husein said Uber fired him because of his efforts to organize workers.

"I tried to log on one day and I realized that I was deactivated," said Husein. 

The former Uber driver continued his push for drivers to earn a living wage. He has four demands. He wants Uber to:

  • Raise rates 60 percent nationwide.
  • Add a tip option.
  • Raise the cancelation fee to $7.
  • Raise the minimum fare to $7.

Current driver Nolan Goldberg started driving for Uber last October. He supports the strike, but not the way Husein is going about it. 

“A good night anymore is $200. A good night a year ago was $600. And we're driving more miles to get that $200,” Goldberg explained.

Goldberg still wants to see Uber succeed. He just hopes the strike is a wake-up call for the company.

"Whether it's farm workers, or Uber partners, you know, if you're not paying enough to earn a living, then it's just not right,” Goldberg said. "It comes down to quality, safety, security for passengers."

Husein is asking Uber drivers to create phony accounts, schedule Uber rides on Oct. 16 through 18 and then cancel those rides if Uber does not meet demands. The former Uber driver said the only way to get the company's attention is to prevent paying customers from being able to book rides using Uber.

41 Acton News reached out to Uber executives for a statement about the planned strike. Uber executives only confirmed that Abe Husein is not an a registered Uber driver. They did not respond to the strike threat.

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Cynthia Newsome can be reached at cynthia.newsome@kshb.com .

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Lexi Sutter can be reached at alexandra.sutter@kshb.com .

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