Uber Drivers Protest Ridesharing Company Policies

Uber drivers are pressuring the ride-sharing company to provide comprehensive insurance coverage

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some 500 drivers for the ridesharing app company Uber protested on Tuesday the company's alleged "general lack of communication, arbitrary treatment and unfair business practices."

    The rally, held at the company's Santa Monica headquarters, also called attention to two bills being floated in the California legislature that aim to ensure proper background checks and require sufficient insurance for the fast-growing and popular rideshare industry.

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    Uber drivers also were talking with reps from the Teamsters Local 986 for guidance in possibly unionizing app-based drivers.

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    Demonstrators were also trying to raise awareness of a piece of legislation that would require transportation network companies to purchase insurance for those vehicles.

    "We can not sacrifice our public safety," said Uber driver Lopfi Benyeder.

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    Eva Behrend, an Uber spokeswoman, responded to Tuesday's protest in a press release:

    "While Uber is focused on a great experience for riders and economic opportunity for drivers, the Teamsters Local 986 is focused on recruiting membership and filling their coffers," she said in the statement.

    Uber has come under fire for hiring drivers with criminal records, as an NBC4 I-Team investigation found. The rideshare companies also face challenges from cab drivers who complain that such businesses were encroaching on their livelihoods.

    "It’s like someone new came into the industry and doesn’t want to responsibility," Benyeder said.

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