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Uber 'partners' protest in front of Santa Monica office

Uber drivers protest outside of corporate offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are upset with various Uber policies, some they say inhibit their ability to earn a decent living.
Uber drivers protest outside of corporate offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are upset with various Uber policies, some they say inhibit their ability to earn a decent living.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
Uber drivers protest outside of corporate offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are upset with various Uber policies, some they say inhibit their ability to earn a decent living.
Uber employees watch the protest from their office in Santa Monica. Drivers are demanding changes to corporate policies that they say hinder their ability to make a living wage and ensure safety for drivers and clients.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
Uber drivers protest outside of corporate offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are upset with various Uber policies, some they say inhibit their ability to earn a decent living.
Uber driver Lotfi Benyedder leads a protest outside of Uber offices in Santa Monica. Uber drives are upset with a multitude of issues from the car service company. Among the drivers' complaints are claims that the insurance policy should change, the driver rating system is unfair and that there should be higher standards to become a driver.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
Uber drivers protest outside of corporate offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are upset with various Uber policies, some they say inhibit their ability to earn a decent living.
Uber drives protest outside of the car service company's offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are trying to organize with the help of the Teamsters union to demand changes to policies they say are unfair and cause them to loose money.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
Uber drivers protest outside of corporate offices in Santa Monica. Drivers are upset with various Uber policies, some they say inhibit their ability to earn a decent living.
Über employees talk with Uber drivers and take notes about their concerns during a protest outside of Uber offices in Santa Monica.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC


More than 100 Uber drivers, drivers' family members and members of the Teamsters union were in attendance Tuesday for a rally outside the Uber offices in Santa Monica. 

Lotfi Benyedder, an Uber driver of about three years, was the primary rally spokesman at the 7th Street protest that addressed drivers' issues with Uber policies. 

RELATED: With help from Teamsters, LA Uber drivers try to organize

"There is no way you are going to solve the problem by yourself, we need to be one voice," Benyedder said to the crowd.

Since Uber drivers are independent contractors, they are unable to officially unionize. The Uber rallies are becoming more popular since the drivers are attempting to form an association to better their work situation.

Uber drivers are disconcerted with several issues from the car service company. Drivers demand that corporate policies be changed, otherwise they feel drivers and clients will remain at risk on the road and policies will continue to hinder their ability to make a living wage.

Benyedder and drivers advocated for "Public Safety" through chants "AB612" and "AB 2293." Benyedder reminded the rally of the case on Sophia Liu from January. The Uber company firmly opposes assembly bills 612 and  2293 as the bills would require ridesharing companies to buy coverage for the contracted vehicles at all times as opposed to only when the car is carrying a fare.  

Among the drivers' complaints are issues with the driver rating system. Benyedder said:

The [rating] system in unfair. A driver was given one star and was deactivated from the system for five days, the guy has kids to feed, has family, has bills and he was not able to drive because a difficult client gave him one star. He sent several emails to Uber and they did not respond until after six days and then they wanted him to take a class, when it was not even his fault. This rating system needs to stop. No more rating! If the client wants to give feedback they can always send an email and have a fair process of deactivation  and hear what the other side has to say. 

The rally concluded with chants "Insure the drivers!" and "Ratings must go!"