Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an organization representing taxi drivers and taxi drivers, described Lyft and Uber's efforts as "slap", especially as companies "go pass to the public the sweat of the drivers. "
The question worries many drivers because the Uber and Lyft public offerings should constitute a new category of billionaires among an elite group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors. Uber is expected to reach $ 120 billion. One of its founders, Travis Kalanick, has already become a billionaire by selling some of his company's shares to private investors. Lyft, which is expected to unveil Friday its initial investment prospectus, was last evaluated on the private market, at just over $ 15 billion.
Drivers, who have long been at the heart of the profession, have tried to change their status with Uber and Lyft to be classified as full-time employees. Becoming full-time employees would also give them access to health care benefits and other benefits.
But companies have managed to postpone these efforts. In California, Uber and Lyft have rejected the lawsuits to obtain employee status for drivers. In New York, Lyft recently sued to overturn a new law that would give drivers a minimum hourly wage of about $ 17.
Uber and Lyft declined to comment on the drivers' receipt of the programs. The cash programs had already been reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Uber has been trying to improve its relationship with drivers over the last 18 months, allowing them to accept tips for the first time as of 2017. In October, Uber asked in a letter to the Securities Exchange Commission to allow it to grant actions to drivers. even if they are not employees. Uber has not heard from the S.E.C., said one of the people.
In the end, cash programs would not give drivers the opportunity to earn equity money in the same way as employees, "said Mary Russell, lawyer and founder of Stock Option Counsel, a firm that consults employees on stock-based compensation.
"This does not seem to be a significant change in their remuneration, in my opinion," she said. "It's more than a thank you for the past and a punctual event."