Earlier this month, Uber passed a 20 percent fare price discount onto its freelance driver's wages. Uber had made the price cut to fares in June, but continued to pay drivers as if the discounts hadn't been made for two months—until now. Over 100 Seattle Uber drivers turned in their company phones yesterday to protest the cuts to their wages. This all comes only a month after the city council relegalized the app without caps.
Uber's Seattle manager Brooke Steger responded to the protests with a statement claiming drivers are actually making more money than they were before:
Uber’s goal is to ensure strong driver partner earnings and offer the best value to riders. From the summer promotion, we have learned that a 20 percent price cut will keep demand at record levels, with driver earnings equal or higher than May peaks. We have seen similar effects in other cities where lower rates increase trips and increase driver earnings. Drivers are making MORE money now due to demand than they did before the price cut. Uber partner drivers have a direct line into the Uber team and we will continue to work with them individually to ensure their small businesses thrive.
Although the drivers hope their protests will impact wait times in Seattle, the company's fleet of 1000 local freelance drivers has made the protest's impact negligible, if Kiro's Graham Johnson and his raised eyebrow are to be believed in the video above.