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Why the Uber driver protest is the latest milestone in a gig economy reckoning

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Drivers for the ride sharing apps Lyft and Uber protest outside Uber’s Philadelphia headquarters on the afternoon of May 8, 2019.

Drivers for the ride sharing apps Lyft and Uber protest outside Uber’s Philadelphia headquarters on the afternoon of May 8, 2019. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Just before Uber debuted on the stock market last week, some drivers in Philly and cities across the world turned off their apps and staged a protest, demanding better working conditions, and greater transparency. While Uber said drivers “are at the heart” of its service, the company admitted in a recent SEC filing that it only expects driver dissatisfaction to increase. Why is Uber holding tight to its tense relationship with drivers? On this episode of The Why, WHYY’s PlanPhilly reporter Darryl C. Murphy tells us about the protest, and labor attorney Ryan Hancock explains why it could be the latest milestone in a gig economy reckoning over workers’ rights.

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