Drivers in Seattle for Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have been speaking up publicly about issues with their job—the poverty wages, the lack of clear communication from the billion-dollar companies that control their livelihoods, how stressful it is when these companies keep changing the rules without talking to workers.
We’re asking people in Seattle to keep the conversation going: When you hail an Uber or Lyft ride, ask your driver what’s going on at work and get their side of the story.
Not sure what to ask? Try these conversation starters:
- I heard that some drivers are fighting for the right to negotiate with Uber & Lyft for better pay and work conditions. Have you heard about that? What do you think of it?
- I know Uber & Lyft have cut their rates in Seattle a few times. How do those fare cuts affect you?
- What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you while driving?
Thanks for keeping this conversation going! Tell us how it went:
One important thing to remember about conversations like this: The fact that you get to rate your driver at the end of a ride gives you a lot of power. It’s like every passenger is a secret shopper, and bad ratings mean getting kicked off the system—and out of a job.
People in public-facing jobs are generally expected to be polite and not complain about work to customers. So just like you don’t really know if the person ringing up your groceries is actually super concerned that you have a nice day, and you don’t usually find out if the person giving you an IV in the hospital just got denied their vacation request, remember that drivers might not feel totally comfortable telling you everything about their work life.
But it’s also important to come together and talk about these issues with each other, so that a bunch of well-paid PR firms don’t get to control our discussion about the Uber economy and ignore real passengers’ and drivers’ voices.