Uber drivers plan protest over pay ahead of IPO

(Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc’s drivers in six U.S. cities are planning to shut their apps for 12 hours on May 8 to protest against low wages and working conditions, two days ahead of the company’s expected market debut.

Drivers in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington DC will shut their app on the day, when a separate protest will be carried out outside Uber’s head office in San Francisco, a spokeswoman for Gig Workers Rising, a campaign for gig workers, told Reuters.

About “hundreds of drivers” are likely to join the protest, with Los Angeles and San Francisco expected to see a higher concentration of people, Clarkson said on Monday.

The drivers’ demands also include employee benefit plans such as health care, holiday pay and representation in Uber’s management structure.

Uber expects to price its IPO on May 9 and begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange the following day, people familiar with the matter have said.

“Uber’s IPO will put millions in the pockets of executives, but the drivers who provide the service that is core to the company will get nothing, ” Clarkson said.

To improve relations with drivers, Uber had announced plans to offer cash bonuses to some of its most active drivers with the option to purchase shares in the company’s market debut.

Uber did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel