While Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has come out strongly in support of Lyft drivers calling for a strike, his campaign reportedly spent nearly $1,000 in the month of March alone on the ride-sharing service.
Sanders tweeted during the same month that he backed Uber and Lyft drivers striking in California.
“I stand with Uber and Lyft drivers striking in LA. One job should be enough to make a decent living in America, especially for those working for multibillion-dollar companies. Drivers must be paid the wages they deserve,” he wrote.
Washington Examiner reported, “Lyft and Uber drivers are striking around the world Wednesday in protest against low wages, the lack of benefits, and other perceived unfair labor practices by the companies.
“A number of progressive groups have criticized rideshare companies for taking advantage of the fact that their drivers are contract workers and thus exempt from a number of labor regulations. Drivers participating in the strike have also asked the public not to use the service during the walkout.”
According to the Examiner, a review of Sanders’ 2020 campaign Federal Election Commission filings found $921.90 in Lyft ride expenses.
Sanders made multiple posts on social media Wednesday arguing Lyft and Uber drivers deserve more pay.
In one tweet, he wrote, “In 2017 Lyft’s CEO made over $41 million and Uber’s made $45 million last year. Uber executives are expected to become instant millionaires from the company’s IPO this week.”
“The median worker at Uber and Lyft makes about $10/hour,” the Democratic presidential candidate added. “This is a situation we can no longer accept.”
In 2017 Lyft’s CEO made over $41 million and Uber’s made $45 million last year.
Uber executives are expected to become instant millionaires from the company’s IPO this week.
The median worker at Uber and Lyft makes about $10/hour.
This is a situation we can no longer accept.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 8, 2019
Sanders also tweeted a link to an Op-Ed for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he argued that the Trump administration is facilitating the exploitation of these workers by allowing them to remain classified as independent contractors rather than full-time employees.
“Trump’s administration not only rescinded previous rules designed to classify gig economy workers as full time employees, his Labor Department just this past week issued a ‘get out of jail free card’ to employers such as Uber and Lyft to let them keep classifying their workers as “independent contractors,” penned Sanders.
He continued, “That makes it harder for these workers to join unions, and harder for workers to sue when they are being fleeced.”
The self-described Democratic socialist Sanders made an apparent inadvertent plug for capitalism in an interview with The New York Times last month while defending his millionaire status.
The presidential candidate has long accused the United States of having a rigged system to serve the interests of “millionaires and billionaires.”
The Times reporter reminded Sanders he is a person of means after he took a jab at President Donald Trump for having global investments.
“I wrote a best-selling book,” Sanders said. “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”
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