Uber drivers across the UK are set to strike against pay and work conditions just days before the company launches its initial public offering.
Drivers in British cities such as London, Nottingham, Glasgow and Birmingham will protest, in addition to drivers in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington DC across the pond.
The company is set to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under “UBER”, and is one of 2019’s most anticipated initial public offerings.
Uber’s floatation will raise roughly $9 billion.
The United Private Hire Drivers Branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) is set to stage a boycott of the app that will last for nine hours.
Uber drivers in the US will receive support by drivers for Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT), Uber’s competitor. Lyft is Uber’s smaller rival and the first of the two ride-hailing businesses to float, listing at the end of March.
Uber’s past is filled with controversies. From its work place culture, in which certain sexual harassment and discriminatory practices occurred according to a former employee, to the treatment of its drivers.
“It is the drivers who have created this extraordinary wealth but they continue to be denied even the most basic workplace rights,” James Farrar, chair of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union commented, according to the BBC.
“We call on the public not to cross the digital picket line on 8 May but to stand in solidarity with impoverished drivers across the world who have made Uber so successful.” James Farrar continued.
Towards the end of last year, Uber also revealed plans to launch a subscription for customers in Los Angeles, Austin, Denver, Miami and Orlando, allowing customers to always ride at a fixed rate and avoid price surges during peak hours.
At 19:59 GMT -4 Tuesday, shares in Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) were trading at -2.03%.