Ride-hailing drivers expose financial unrest before Uber IPO

NEW YORK (AP) — As Uber prepares for its stock market debut Friday, its long-term success or failure will largely depend on the nearly 4 million drivers who serve as the backbone of the company’s network.

The ride-hailing company will need to convince drivers to stick with it as it grapples with complaints over wages and the way it classifies drivers as contractors instead of employees.

Lyft is dealing with similar issues and on Wednesday, drivers for both companies participated in strikes across the country, pledging to turn off their apps for hours to call attention to their plight.

“The drivers are the one who helped Uber to be $100 billion, nobody else, and the drivers are the ones who are suffering,” said Inder Parmar, 54, an Uber driver in New York City.

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