| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Nov 28 Drivers for ride service
company Uber will join planned nationwide protests on Tuesday,
when activists and low-wage workers renew their call for better
pay and the right to join a union in the wake of Donald Trump's
U.S. presidential election win, organizers said.
Hundreds of Uber drivers in two dozen cities, including San
Francisco, Miami and Boston, for the first time will add their
voices to the union-backed "Fight for $15" campaign that has
helped convince several cities and states to raise starting pay
significantly above the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25.
Justin Berisie, 34, drives for Uber in Denver and is joining
"Someone who lives in America and goes to work every day,
that person deserves a decent living," said Berisie, who has a
5-year-old daughter and is struggling to make ends meet. He said
he earns $500 or less, before expenses such as gasoline, during
an average week where he is on duty for 50 to 60 hours.
The four-year-old "Fight for $15" movement includes
fast-food workers, home care aides, airport baggage handlers and
other low-wage employees. Organizers from "Fight for $15," which
is backed by the Service Employees International Union, say the
campaign's Nov. 29 demonstrations will take place in 340 cities
and nearly 20 of the nation's busiest airports.
U.S. policy is expected to become less worker friendly
following the election of Trump, a international businessman who
will be president as fellow Republicans control both chambers of
Congress as well as federal agencies that govern the formation
of unions, overtime rules and more.
Uber drivers have sued the company in several states,
accusing it of depriving drivers of various employment
protections by misclassifying them as independent contractors.
The lawsuits are a test for companies such as Uber
Technologies Inc, a high-profile player in the
so-called "sharing economy," which say that their contractor
model allows for flexibility that many see as important to their
success. A legal finding that drivers are employees could raise
Uber's costs and force it to pay Social Security, workers'
compensation, and unemployment insurance.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia