Call it either the best or the worst timing, but Uber drivers are planning a protest against the company, and the pot is scheduled to boil over this weekend, this very busy Super Bowl weekend, no less, in San Francisco. Some 300,000 visitors are expected to arrive for the match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, and with a stadium far from the city, ride services like Uber were expected to be a major player in assuring that fans got to and from the game safely and efficiently.
But now, that may all change. Uber, which for the record actually serves as an official Super Bowl 50 partner, may not have any drivers available for game goers.
The company, which has had a very difficult week already, has guaranteed its drivers a minimum rate of $35 per hour during peak times at the Super Bowl, but even that may not be enough to assuage workers who are protesting price slashes and other alleged injustices. Drivers are asserting that Uber does not pay a livable wage, and it looks like retaliation will reach its fever pitch this weekend in the form of a Super Bowl boycott.
An online flier advancing the drivers’ cause notes that “this is the biggest stage we will ever get,” and a number of online threads and forums are providing drivers with necessary information and resources.
If the strike does indeed come to pass, it’ll create a veritable nightmare in San Francisco — not only would it be hugely embarrassing for Uber, but traffic might also come to a complete standstill given the drivers’ threat of staging a protest at Levi’s Stadium.
Still, there are some 40,000 Uber drivers in the Bay Area, and it seems unlikely that the entirety of the transportation giant’s workforce won’t show up to work. And with surge prices sure to be outrageous, drivers should be able to make more than their normal fare during the big game (much to customers’ chagrin).
Uber, for now, doesn’t seem so concerned. But only time will tell how this one plays out.