May 8 (UPI) -- Uber and Lyft drivers went on a nationwide strike and urged riders to boycott the services Wednesday in an effort to urge the companies to increase wages.
Drivers turned off their apps and took part in demonstrations in major U.S. cities and some locations in Europe. Drivers called for a 24-hour strike in Los Angeles and created a picket line at Los Angeles International Airport, and the New York Taxi Workers' Alliance called for a rush-hour strike.
The demonstrations were timed to come before Uber's initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.
Rideshare Drivers United, a Los Angeles group that organized strike efforts there, called on drivers to stop using the app for the day.
"We ask that the public support drivers in their struggle for fair wages and our drivers bill of rights," spokesman Brian Dolber told NPR. "We are calling for community standards that will ensure that Uber and Lyft do not create needless traffic and pollution. By boycotting Uber/Lyft for 24 hours, passengers can show that they stand with RDU in our fight for a ride-share industry that truly serves Angelenos."
Lyft said it's working to improve conditions for drivers, citing increases in hourly earnings over the past two years.
"We know that access to flexible, extra income makes a big difference for millions of people, and we're constantly working to improve how we can best serve our driver community," the company said.