Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday February 15, 2024
Ride-Share Reality: Drivers Struggle as Fees Outweigh Earnings
As Valentine’s Day wraps up, the impact of a widespread strike by Uber and Lyft drivers across Canada and the United States becomes evident. Thousands of drivers, standing up against what they see as unfair fees, shed light on the stark contrast between their modest earnings and the hefty profits of app developers and shareholders.
A report from RideFairTO and the Rideshare Drivers Association of Ontario painted a grim picture for Uber drivers in Toronto, revealing they earn a mere $6.37 per hour after expenses, well below Ontario’s minimum wage. Despite Uber’s claim of a median earning of $33.35 per engaged hour, questions about payment transparency linger.
In response to growing dissatisfaction, Lyft made promises like guaranteeing drivers 70% of their fares weekly and clearer fee breakdowns. Yet, the drivers’ demands for a living wage, transparent pay calculations, and an end to unfair deactivations underscored the need for change in the gig economy.
Safety concerns also came to the forefront, with a rise in carjackings and attacks on drivers. These issues added urgency to the drivers’ grievances.
Despite assurances from Uber and Lyft that past strikes had little impact, the collective voice of drivers in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington suggested growing discontent. The decline in drivers’ average monthly earnings, as reported by Gridwise, pointed to a concerning trend.
As Uber and Lyft downplayed the strikes, the question emerged: how sustainable is a system where drivers feel the need to strike for fair wages and better working conditions?
The Valentine’s Day walkout served as a reminder of the challenges faced by gig workers. While immediate change may not result from these strikes, they shed light on a system on the brink of collapse unless a fairer solution emerges. The future of ride-share gig work depends on addressing the unfair fees and establishing a system that benefits both drivers and the companies they serve. (AI)
After who? Ivan Glassco?
Lately, I’ve been taking a little stroll down cartoon memory lane, and guess who I bumped into? Ivan Glassco – a name that’s been kinda sleeping in our archives. Born and bred in Hamilton, Ivan wasn’t just a cartoonist; he was the guy doodling up a storm here back in the ’30s.
Now, here’s the kicker – we haven’t given him a proper shoutout since ’61. No love, no mentions, just a couple of nods buried in death notices. And, honestly, it got me thinking – how did we let that slide?
So, I started flipping through the old papers, brushing off the cobwebs, and stumbled upon Ivan’s forgotten masterpieces. It’s like finding buried treasure, but instead of gold coins, we get timeless cartoons about stuff that’s still messing with us in 2024.
Sure, his cartoons might feel a bit like they’re from another planet, but the core? It’s pure, timeless brilliance.
Now, I’ve been camped in the same chair as Ivan for almost three decades – a feat that sometimes feels like juggling bowling balls. Trying to fill his shoes is no joke, and it keeps me humble.
As I cooked up my latest cartoon about rideshare struggles, a lightbulb went off – there’s a sprinkle of Glassco in there. A nod to the underdogs fighting the corporate bigwigs. It’s like he left a secret sauce in the ink, challenging me to keep the cartoon torch burning.
I reckon we need a bit more Ivan Glassco in our cartoon mix. It’s high time we shine a spotlight on the guy who paved the way, even if he’s been in the shadows for a while.
Look, I’m no cartoonist expert, but there’s something special about digging into the work of the originals. Glassco lived in a different era, but his cartoons are like a time machine, still hitting the spot.
So, here’s a toast to Ivan Glassco – the guy who made us laugh, think, and maybe squirm a bit. Let’s bring him back into the banter, not just for the nostalgia kick but because the dude deserves a front-row seat alongside us modern scribblers.
Here’s to the past, present, and all the cartoons still waiting to hit the paper! (Written by Graeme MacKay)