August 18, 2023
From Fight Back News

Uber and Lyft drivers press conference before the City Council meeting demanding

Uber and Lyft drivers press conference before the City Council meeting demanding a minimum wage in Minneapolis.
(Fight Back! News/staff)

Minneapolis, MN – At their August 17 meeting, the Minneapolis city council voted 7-5 to pass the “Fair Drives Safe Rides” ordinance that would enact a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers as well as protections for drivers against “deactivation” – the companies’ term for firing their drivers.

They took this action in response to powerful organizing by the Minnesota Uber/Lyft Drivers Association (MULDA), an organization of drivers, who in Minneapolis are largely East African immigrants.

The vote came in the wake of a blistering blackmail campaign over the past week by the Uber and Lyft corporations, where they threatened to leave Minneapolis entirely if the ordinance becomes law.

On the eve of the vote, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey intervened on behalf of the large corporations to try to get the city council to put off their vote to another unspecified time. But that effort failed, and the ordinance passed.

The city council’s vote now puts the measure in Mayor Frey’s hands. Frey has until August 23 to decide whether he will sign the ordinance into law or veto it. 

After the vote, drivers celebrated their victory, but also recognized the battle isn’t over, with the possibility of a veto by Mayor Frey. If he vetoes the ordinance, it would be a replay of what happened at the state legislature this spring, when the state house and senate passed similar worker protections for Uber and Lyft drivers, only to have Governor Walz veto it, after buckling to threats from Uber and Lyft to leave the state if he signed it. 

So after the city council passed the measure on August 17, organizers quickly pivoted to pressuring Mayor Frey to stand with workers by signing the ordinance into law, rather than siding with huge corporations that exploit their drivers by vetoing it. 

City Councilmember Aisha Chughtai, one of the seven who voted yes on the ordinance, said, “All workers deserve dignity, respect and safety in the workplace. This ordinance is a victory for economic and racial justice, and it holds multibillion-dollar corporations accountable,” adding, “This ordinance is about economic justice for drivers who are largely immigrants, Black, indigenous, and people of color, and who are working multiple jobs and still struggling to get by. The city council had their back today. I hope the mayor will do the same.”

Mayor Frey can be contacted at 612-673-2100 or at the web form here: