Uber and Lyft drivers go on strike nationwide; Valley sees little protest

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Drivers for ridesharing giants Uber and Lyft are demanding better wages. Some drivers across the country are going on strike in protest. They say the rideshare companies continue to make millions of dollars off of their hard work but do little to boost employee wages. The protest comes as Uber's stock is about to go public this week. While the strikes were larger in cities like New York and Los Angeles, there wasn't much of a protest expected in the Valley.

Between Uber and Lyft, we are talking about more than a million drivers who are independent contractors for those companies in the US. On Wednesday, there was a call for those drivers to strike. Not everyone got that message and those who did may have decided not to heed it.

A tale of two drivers on this day when rideshare drivers for Lyft and Uber were to organize a nationwide strike. Patty Brennan, who drivers for Uber and Lyft, is striking. Travis Warren, who drivers for Lyft, says he hadn't heard about the strike.

When asked about the strike, Warren said he wouldn't have participated anyway.

"I feel like it's something you choose to do," Warren said. "This is a company you sign up for. It's not like an offer for employment."

Brennan's driver app is off today in protest. Last year, she says she often made $100 for six hours of driving. Now, she makes $50 or less driving the same amount of time.

"When Uber's getting 80 or 70 percent of our money, how can you say that's fair when they have surge and they charge the customer $10 or $20," Warren said. "We get maybe $2 of that."

Warren says he understand why drivers are upset that the money is not what it once was.

"When it first started, there weren't that many people driving," Warren said. "Now, there's a million people driving around the Phoenix area alone, so it's not going to last forever - you making a bunch of money driving people around."

Brennan insists it's the corporate greed that is cutting deeply into what she can earn driving.

We reached out to Uber and they issued the following statement:

"Drivers are at the heart of our service - we can't succeed without them - and thousands of people come into work at Uber every day focused on how to make their experience better, on and off the road. Whether it's more consistent earnings, stronger insurance protections, or fully-funded four-year degrees for drivers for their families, we'll continue working to improve the experience for and with drivers."