Valentine’s Day: Uber, Other Ride-Sharing Drivers To Strike

This Valentine’s Day it may be hard to travel for your love as Uber, DoorDash and Lyft drivers plan to temporarily strike and stop service to and from select airports.

Red rose on wooden bench in foreground, with couple sitting apart in background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It might be best to stay local for a few hours this Valentine’s Day as ride-sharing drivers including DoorDash, Lyft and Uber plan to strike and stop service to and from 10 airports.

The strike, set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow (February 14), is in protest of low wages, safety concerns and other grievances, according to Justice For App Workers (JFAW), a coalition of 130,000 rideshare drivers and delivery workers. 

Striking drivers will not pick up fares to and from airports in Austin, Chicago, Hartford, Miami, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa as well as Rhode Island, JFAW says on its website.

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The coalition, whose members are located from the East Coast to the Midwest, is inviting drivers nationwide to join the strike to demand “changes from Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and all the app companies profiting off of our hard work.”

Delivery drivers are being mistreated by app companies, JFAW said. “We’re sick of working 80 hours/week just to make ends meet, being constantly scared for our safety, and worrying about being deactivated with the click of a button,” the group added.

The strike would be the latest example of labor unrest spreading across the U.S. economy. In the last year, strikes or threats of strikes have involved unions from various industries including autoworkersflight attendantspilotsUPS drivers and writers.

DoorDash and Uber spokespeople told Kiplinger that they do not expect the JFAW strike to have a significant impact on Valentine’s Day.

Such events rarely have had “any impact on trips, prices or driver availability, and we expect the same tomorrow,” the Uber spokesperson said in an email.

Driver earnings are strong, with earning of about $33 per utilized hour last quarter, the Uber spokesperson said. “We also continue to act on driver feedback, adding new safety features to the app and improving our account deactivation processes," she added.

DoorDash is “always listening to Dashers and looking for ways to improve the platform,” a company spokesperson said. “We’re extremely proud that millions of Dashers have turned to DoorDash to help reach their financial goals by earning how, when and where they want — and they’ve earned over $35 billion doing it."

A Lyft spokesperson told Kiplinger in an email that Lyft issued a series of new offers and commitments this month that are aimed at increasing driver pay and transparency, including a new earnings commitment and an improved deactivation appeals process.

“Now, drivers will always make at least 70% of the weekly rider fares after external fees,” the Lyft spokesperson said.

Valentine's Day spending is up

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation forecast a lucrative Valentine's Day this year for retailers, with total spending expected to hit a record $14.2 billion.

The top gifts? Candy, of course, followed by greeting cards and flowers, according to a recent NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey. And, if you're still looking for ideas, check out Kiplinger's recent report on Valentine's Day gifts at Costco.


Esther D’Amico
Senior News Editor

Esther D’Amico is Kiplinger’s senior news editor. A long-time antitrust and congressional affairs journalist, Esther has covered a range of beats including infrastructure, climate change and the industrial chemicals sector. She previously served as chief correspondent for a financial news service where she chronicled debates in and out of Congress, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department with a particular focus on large mergers and acquisitions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and in English.