A Voice on the Job. A Movement against Poverty.

Uber and Lyft drivers join 'protest caravan' in favor of union rights, higher wages

A group of about 50 Uber, Lyft and other ride-hail app drivers from Massachusetts joined a protest caravan on Wednesday to the Massachusetts State House to demand union rights and higher wages.


Members of the Massachusetts Independent Drivers Guild, or Mass. IDG — the official statewide affiliate of the national Independent Drivers Guild — and the International Association of Machinists were among the crowd that gathered to march from the parking lot behind the Commonwealth Avenue Star Market in Allston to the State House. Mass. IDG counts 4,000 local members, according to organizers.


Kevin Murphy, a Foxborough native who’s been driving for Uber Eats, Instacart and other delivery apps for four years, said that the ride-hailing industry lacks regulation and worker protection.


“We’re carrying all last-mile delivery for a multibillion-dollar industry,” he said.


His most pressing demands are better pay and health insurance that would cover him while on the job. As a person who uses his personal smartphone while doing gig work, he would also like phone reimbursement benefits; he uses a whole terabyte of data in a month to scan Instagram barcodes and to get other delivery-related tasks done, totaling $200 out of his pocket every month.


“I don’t get reimbursed for that stuff,” he said. “I want more money. I want a living wage.”


Full story at Boston Business Journal.