We always remain focused on our goal of fighting for drivers and part of that fight means telling our story and sharing our difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team just published an op-ed in Business Insider by one of our own drivers.
We will continue to fight for better wages, working conditions, and safety protections — especially during COVID-19. Also, we need to share the stories of all of our drivers and the hardships we and our industry is facing during the pandemic.
Share this op-ed with your fellow drivers, with your friends and family and with your communities. The time is NOW for drivers to organize for collective action and reclaim worker power. Drivers keep cities across the country moving, and we will keep fighting for our rights!
For up to date information, visit our website, and of course, please reach out with any questions. We, together, will bring back the industry with respect and dignity.
As always, we hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy.
The Independent Drivers Guild
The federal government has passed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic relief plan that will offer Disaster Unemployment Assistance to tens of millions of households affected by the coronavirus pandemic. It includes workers in the gig economy. Your base benefit is based on the state formula, which in NY is around 50% your pay, based on how much you earned in your highest quarter out of the last five quarters. State benefits will be paid for 26 weeks. With Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, eligible workers will get an extra $600 per week on top of current levels of unemployment benefits for up to four months (Until July 31, 2020), and extend state benefits for another 13 weeks if you are still unemployed or underemployed after 26 weeks. There is more information about the federal expansion of unemployment here: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/cares-act.shtm.
According to the NY State Department of Labor, to apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, you will need to apply for state Unemployment Insurance Benefits first.
Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for Unemployment Insurance Benefits in New York State. https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/claimantinfo/beforeyouapplyfaq.shtm
You can apply online here or by calling the number below. If you call, there is translation. Get more information here.
It is best to apply for UI online. Sign in with your NY.GOV ID https://applications.labor.ny.gov/Individual/ and follow the instructions to file a claim.
The day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. Last names starting with A – F, file on Monday. Last names starting with G – N, file on Tuesday. Last names starting with O – Z, file on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim; all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.
You may file your claim:
- Monday – Thursday from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm (Eastern Time)
- Friday from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm
- Saturday – all-day
- Sunday until 7 pm
Call our Telephone Claim Center, toll-free during business hours to file a claim.
- We are extending telephone filing hours as follows:
- Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 7:30 pm.
- Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Saturday, 7:30 am to 8:00 pm.
If you file by phone, we offer translation services. Use your phone keypad to enter the number for the language you choose. A voice recording will offer you these choices:
- All other languages
Things you need to file your claim:
- Your Social Security number
- Your driver license or Motor Vehicle ID card number (if you have either one)
- Your complete mailing address and zip code
- A phone number where we can reach you from 8 am – 5 pm, Monday –Friday
- Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a U.S. Citizen and have a card)
- Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
- Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
- Your copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
- Your most recent separation form (DD 214), for military service
- Bank account number
- 1099 forms from both companies
After submitting the form, you will have to activate the application by calling the hotline number.
IDG pushed for the app companies to provide financial assistance to drivers who are told by a licensed medical professional to stay home and self-isolate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The app companies have different policies about eligibility and required documentation.
According to the CDC, you should stay home if you are SICK or if you are over 60 or if you have heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or other serious health issues. To apply for sick pay:
- GET A DOCTORS NOTE. You can do this by calling your doctor or using our FREE telemedicine benefits to connect with a doctor via phone or video chat.
DOCTORS NOTE. When you talk to the doctor, tell them about your symptoms and ask for a letter saying you need to stay home and self-isolate due to risk of spreading COVID-19. Follow the app companies instructions for submitting documentation. Reach out to IDG if you need help.
ACTIVATE your Benefits by calling Drivers Benefits at 833-814-8590 from 8am to 8pm, or activate them online here: https://driversbenefits.org/activate-now/. Drivers Benefits can help you sign up for free or low-cost healthcare as well.
AFTER you have activated your Benefits you can use your MDLIVE Telemedicine benefit to call a doctor right from your phone, 24/7, wherever you are for free. Download the MDLIVE app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) or go to their website. If you’re a Drivers Benefits member and you haven’t registered at MDLIVE, you’ll need to do so before your first appointment. When you call MDLIVE, ask to make an appointment with a doctor.
You may also call or visit a local doctor or Urgent Care facility to get a doctor’s note. Call 311 to find a doctor in New York City you can see for free.
- REQUEST sick pay from Uber here. Uber is saying they will follow up with requests for documents and process payment in 2-5 days. The information below will help you get the documents you need. Please let IDG know you are requesting sick pay by completing form here.
REQUEST sick pay from Lyft by apply for sick pay by contacting Lyft directly through App through “dashboard”. You can copy IDG on the email by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org as well OR let IDG know you are requesting sick pay by completing this form.
REQUEST sick pay from Via here. Please let IDG know you are requesting sick pay by completing this form.
The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) Education Center is seeking an experienced TLC-licensed drivers and union activists to join our team as instructors for the TLC Universal License 24-Hour Course. This class is required for licensure as a TLC driver. The IDG Education Center offers this course to ensure that every new TLC driver is set up for success from their first day on the job. We are particularly interested in applicants who are bilingual in Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Urdu, and Bengali.
We will train a successful applicant on the curriculum and teaching techniques.
The Independent Drivers Guild is a union nonprofit affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW, Machinists Union) and represent 65,000 app-based For-Hire Vehicle workers in New York City.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Teaching 1-2 courses per month, offered over three 8-hour days, or a sequence of weekday evenings.
• Attending staff meetings and participating in professional development
• Rapidly integrating feedback and new curriculum from classroom observations
• Current TLC-licensed driver
• Minimum six months experience as a labor activist
• Passion for social justice
• Friendly disposition toward students
• Driven to build worker power in the For-Hire Vehicle Industry
• All of the above and experience as a teacher
This position will report to the Education Programs Director and collaborate with faculty and staff of the IDG Education Center.
Wages and Benefits
• This is a part-time position at up to 60 hours/month.
• Competitive pay.
To apply, email a cover letter and resume or CV to email@example.com.
The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is seeking an energetic and outgoing individual interested in helping build our organization from the ground up. We are an union nonprofit affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW, Machinists Union) and represent 60,000 app-based For-Hire Vehicle workers in New York City.
We are constantly working to recruit more For-Hire Vehicle drivers into our union and develop current membership to become more active. We are searching for an experienced organizer that has 5+ experience of organizing membership and staff.
The Field Organizer position will be responsible for coordinating all levels of outreach for the Independent Drivers Guild. This position requires a high energy, responsible, and organized individual with a passion for social justice.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Managing and developing member and intern field organizers and phone organizers;
- Maintaining a strong internal organizing strategy to continually develop members;
- Building a network of active drivers in each borough;
- Organizing and securing turn out for events, meetings, actions, and protests;
- Organizing and running successful membership meetings;
- Identify, track, and develop potential stewards and activists that we meet in the field and/or over the phones;
- Coordinating and running works council meetings with members and company management;
- Developing and maintaining a network of community partners;
- The ability to troubleshoot problems as they come up with organizing staff and with membership;
- Coordinating with the Education Director to run Organizing trainings to further develop our membership;
- Required 3+ years of field organizing (preferably labor organizing), coordinating experience, and leading organizing staff.
This position will report directly to the Chief of Staff.
This is a salaried position, starting at $50,000.
To apply please email us your resume, a letter of interest, and two references.