Uber drivers are gearing up for a national boycott of the app tomorrow ahead of the firm's highly anticipated public listing later this week.
Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow will not log into the app between 7am and 4pm tomorrow to protest at the IPO, which they claim will result in payouts to venture capitalists and executives while their own pay issues remain unresolved.
They will also be joined by drivers from smaller rival Lyft, which is also facing a backlash from drivers over low pay and working conditions.
There will also be protests outside Uber headquarters in the respective cities and in the US, where Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has pledged his support.
Uber says it can't pay its drivers more money, but rewarded its CEO with nearly $50 million last year. People who work for multibillion-dollar companies should not have to work 70 or 80 hours a week to get by. I stand with the Uber and Lyft drivers going on strike on May 8.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 3, 2019
James Farrar of the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) union said: "Uber's flotation is shaping up to be an unprecedented international orgy of greed as investors cash in on one of the most abusive business models ever to emerge from Silicon Valley. It is the drivers who have created this extraordinary wealth but they continue to be denied even the most basic workplace rights. We call on the public not to cross the digital picket line on 8 May but to stand in solidarity with impoverished drivers across the world who have made Uber so successful."
Uber's IPO, set for later this week with a valuation of $90bn (£70bn), follows the disappointing debut of its smaller rival Lyft, which priced its listing at $72 per share, or a valuation of more than $24bn.
However, it has since performed poorly in trading, prompting suggestions that big tech firms are being overvalued.
The move towards a public listing comes as Uber struggles to surmount heavy losses.
In the first quarter of this year, Uber made a net loss of $1bn, with revenues of $3bn.
Uber has been approached for comment.