Uber Drivers Strike Ahead of $90Bn IPO

Will thousands of workers protesting make any difference to the Hottest IPO of the year? Probably not…

Uber and Lyft drivers are logging off ride-hailing apps and taking to the streets in cities around the world Wednesday to protest against working conditions and wages.

The protests come ahead of Uber’s anticipated IPO (initial public offering) on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday which could put the ride-hailing firm’s valuation as high as $91.5 billion.

In the U.K., drivers planned a nine-hour boycott of the Uber app from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow. Hundreds of drivers are also expected to protest outside Uber’s London headquarters on Wednesday afternoon. By 3:30 p.m. local time, roughly 30 people were outside the offices.

Fares in London were surging at 1.8x normal rates as of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, but it’s unclear if the surge pricing was related to driver availability or rainy weather conditions.

Drivers are also expected to stage protests against Uber and Lyft in at least eight cities around the U.S., including New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Overnight, the strikes kicked off in Australia with Uber drivers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne staging brief protests, according to Australia’s Transport Union. Full story at CNBC

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