Uber drivers strike over alleged corruption

Uber goes public on the New York Stock Exchange two days after protests on Wednesday between drivers amid claims of corruption and a minimum wage. 

Today, BBC reports that the transportation company has been criticised for listing its company at $82 billion (£63 billion).

Uber is justifying the $45-a-share price as a way to finance its plan to “revolutionise and then dominate global transportation.” 

Their flotation follows protests in the UK which saw drivers gathering outside 10 Whitechapel High Street to stage a protest. On the agenda of the protest was driver safety, union representation and stringent regulations.

One Uber driver said, “There is no other place to go. Sadiq Khan and TFL are the problem.”

The protest reached its peak at 2pm and saw drivers sporting flags, red flares and large speakers which blasted Bob Marley songs, including One Love and Could You Be Loved.

Drivers chanted, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” Many people stopped to film the events and talk with the drivers.

Protests were not contained to London, with a total 8 cities across Britain being effected including, Cardiff, Nottingham and Glasgow.

Tensions between Uber drivers and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, have been mounting since June 2018 when Khan announced he would refuse Uber’s licence to be renewed.

City workers passing the protest had little idea that the protest would be taking place, with one office worker saying, “They’re entitled to protest, but it doesn’t really effect me.”

Another office worker said, “I would usually use Uber but today I didn’t need to. I don’t know too much about it (the protest) to be honest.”

Police officers were in attendance of the protest, occasionally intervening to keep disruption to a minimum, asking drivers to reduce the volume of music and extinguish flares.

In addition to their main claims, some Uber drivers went on to say that senior officials in the company were not paying taxes and were “getting away with this.”

Uber was not the only mode of transport to be effected on Wednesday. Black cab drivers also took to the streets in a separate protest.

London Underground also suffered major problems with the Circle, District, Hanmmersmith & City, and Piccadilly Lines due to signal failures and a customer incident, causing severe delays throughout the day.

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