UberX drivers turn in company phones, effectively going on strike

by: Graham Johnson Updated:

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SEATTLE —

More than a hundred Seattle UberX drivers turned in their company cellphones on Wednesday, effectively going on strike because of a pay dispute with the company.

Drivers are upset about Uber's 20 percent fare cut earlier this month and say it is making it more difficult for them to earn a living.

Because they are independent contractors, Uber drivers cannot unionize. But they have formed the Seattle Ride-Share Drivers Association to collectively pressure the company.

City Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke at a meeting in support of the drivers Wednesday.

The attorney representing the association told KIRO 7 Uber drivers are paid 80 percent of the fare, and when the company reduced the price, drivers have been forced to work longer hours for the same pay.

The company told KIRO 7 it has more than 1,000 in the Seattle area.

A statement from Uber said, "Drivers are making MORE money now due to demand than they did before the price cut.

Uber's goal is to ensure strong driver partner earnings and offer the best value to riders."

KIRO 7 checked the Uber app on Wednesday afternoon and found no shortage of available rides in downtown Seattle.

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