Press Releases

Uber and Lyft Drivers Celebrate Passage of Historic Legislation

Uber and Lyft Drivers Celebrate Passage of Historic Legislation

Two Year Campaign By Drivers Leads NYC to Close Minimum Wage Loophole for More than 65,000 Uber/Lyft Drivers

New York, NY — After a two-year campaign by the Independent Drivers Guild, New York City officials voted Wednesday to pass the nation’s first legislation to close the minimum wage loophole for companies like Uber and Lyft and require a minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. The City Council also passed additional FHV bills up for a vote on Wednesday, including the temporary cap on for-hire vehicles and new data reporting requirements. See photo of IDG members rallying in favor of the bills at City hall today with Council Member Brad Lander.

The Independent Drivers Guild, an affiliate of the Machinists Union, represents and advocates for more than 65,000 professional drivers for apps like Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno in New York City. In the two years since the Independent Drivers Guild first called on the city to establish a pay floor, the Guild has waged a massive, worker-led campaign. See the timeline here. Thousands of drivers came together with the IDG to fight for this legislation, representing a victory for organized labor in a decidedly challenging industry given the lack of rights for workers classified as contractors.

“More than 65,000 working families will be getting a desperately needed raise because of today’s vote. We hope this is the start of a more fair industry not only here in New York City, but all over the world,” said IDG founder Jim Conigliaro, Jr. “We cannot allow the so-called ‘gig economy’ companies to exploit loopholes in the law in order to strip workers of their rights and protections.”

“Workers and New York leaders made history today. It’s not easy taking on Silicon Valley behemoths, but we kept on fighting for what we know is right and today the workers prevailed. We are thankful to the New York City officials who listened to the stories of drivers who are struggling to support their families and stood by us in this fight,” said IDG Executive Director Ryan Price. “In particular, our thanks go out to Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Members Lander and Levin, and everyone at the Taxi and Limousine Commission who has been working with us on this effort for the last two years.”

More than 16,000 drivers signed the IDG’s petition to require a minimum pay rate for apps like Uber and Lyft. To force action, the IDG filed a formal rulemaking petition in March and the city responded in May that it planned to act on pay rules this summer. The IDG used the same regulatory and legislative tactics to require Uber to add a tipping option to the app last year. Just months after the city greenlighted the IDG’s proposed tipping rules, Uber added a tipping option not only for New York City (its biggest market) but for drivers across the U.S.

IDG Fair Pay Campaign: By The Numbers

“Uber and Lyft have had every opportunity to pay drivers fairly, but instead they went out of their way to design new and deceitful ways to slash our pay and take more and more of our hard-earned fares. Meanwhile, they have flooded the streets with more drivers than there is work. It’s cruel to their existing drivers and it is cruel to the new drivers who are going into debt to do a job they wrongly believe will pay off.” said IDG member Hailing “Henry” Chen,  a 26 year old Uber driver who lives in Queens. “The companies are trying to claim they now support fair pay for drivers, but those are lies. They fought this every step of the way. Even after report after report came out showing the apps pay less than minimum wage, the companies denied it and refused to raise our pay. This victory was won by the workers. Only when workers came together to put massive pressure on city officials did they act. ”

In New York City, nearly 90 percent of IDG members drive for apps as their main source of income and nine in ten drivers are immigrants.

See IDG’s memo of support for the bills passed today here.

Media Contact: Press@drivingguild.org or call Moira Muntz at 703-416-9188

 

Press Releases

Uber and Lyft Drivers Call on City Officials to Pass Historic Legislation

Uber and Lyft Drivers Call on City Officials to Pass Historic Legislation

IDG to City Council: “Be on the right side of history”

Available for interview – contact: press@drivingguild.org

New York, NY — After a two-year campaign by the Independent Drivers Guild, New York City officials will vote Wednesday on legislation to close the minimum wage loophole for companies like Uber and Lyft and establish the nation’s first minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. The IDG is calling on City Council to pass the fair pay bill and two other FHV bills up for a vote on Wednesday, including the temporary cap on for-hire vehicles. See IDG’s memo of support here: https://drivingguild.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2018-bill-package-notes.pdf

The Independent Drivers Guild, an affiliate of the Machinists Union, represents and advocates for more than 65,000 professional drivers for apps like Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno in New York City. Nearly 90 percent of IDG members drive for apps as their main source of income and nine in ten drivers are immigrants. IDG officials and drivers are available for interview, including at City Hall on Wednesday. Contact: press@drivingguild.org

“Thousands of working families across the city right now are desperate. Professional drivers are being paid less than minimum wage by apps like Uber and Lyft, while the companies take more and more from each fare. This vote is an opportunity for New York to be on the right side of history and lead the way for a fairer ride-hail industry. City Council must send a clear message to these companies: if you want to operate in our city, you must pay workers fairly,” said Ryan Price, Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “Drivers have fought long and hard to get this point. Now it’s time for City Council to do its part.”

In the two years since the Independent Drivers Guild first called on the city to establish a pay floor, the Guild has waged a massive, worker-led campaign. See the timeline here. More than 16,000 drivers signed the IDG’s petition to require a minimum pay rate for apps like Uber and Lyft. To force action, the IDG filed a formal rulemaking petition in March and the city responded in May that it planned to act on pay rules this summer. The IDG used the same regulatory tactic to require Uber to add a tipping option to the app last year.

IDG Fair Pay Campaign: By The Numbers:

“Uber is trying to erase driver activism by claiming they now support fair pay for drivers, but make no mistake: they don’t. Even after report after report came out showing the apps pay less than minimum wage, the companies denied it and refused to raise driver pay. The app companies have had every opportunity to pay drivers fairly, but instead they have gone to great lengths to slash pay and increase their own cut of each fare,” added Price. “After the tipping campaign, Uber did the same thing. Uber fought tipping tooth and nail and they only added the tipping option in the app after we won the law requiring it in the company’s biggest market, but they tried to play it off like their own initiative.”

Media Contact: Press@drivingguild.org or call Moira Muntz at 703-416-9188

Press Releases

Uber, Lyft Drivers Guild Win Historic Bill to Require Fair Pay in NYC

Struggling Drivers Waged Years Long Campaign for Pay Floor, Cap on Drivers

New York, NY — The Independent Drivers Guild is celebrating a package of amended bills in New York City which would bring drivers for apps like Uber and Lyft one step closer to winning the nation’s first minimum pay rules for app-based drivers. The IDG, which represents more than 65,000 app-based for-hire vehicle drivers in New York City, has waged a two year campaign for the rules, amassing more than 16,000 signatures on its petition, filing the formal rulemaking petition, demonstrating at city hall, running a social media ad campaign, and lobbying public officials for action.

“Apps like Uber and Lyft cannot be allowed to exploit loopholes in the law to pay drivers sub-minimum wage pay rates. This has been a long time coming and we are excited to see the city starting to take action. This is huge,” said Ryan Price, Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild, which has led the two year campaign for a pay raise. “Thousands of our members have poured their hearts, souls and time into this campaign and it feels good to be heard.”

The new draft of the proposed bill Intro 890-A sponsored by Council Member Lander calls on the city to establish minimum pay rates for drivers for apps like Uber and Lyft, who are not protected by minimum wage laws. The bill calls on the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to take into account the workers’ expenses and cost of living, as well as the total charged to the rider. The legislative proposal follows the IDG’s years long campaign for a raise and a cap on drivers —  and would give City Council backing to the TLC’s response: a minimum pay rate that would raise driver pay by at least 22.5 percent. The city commissioned analysis found that driver pay could be increased without much, if any, increase to rider fares.

“We want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Members Lander and Levin for listening to the drivers. This bill package is a massive improvement and a step in the right direction over the original Diaz bill which would have punished app based drivers with a new $2000 per driver tax, the one boss rule and 10-ride per day requirement which would have caused thousands of layoffs and created an Uber monopoly that would further harm workers. Thankfully, those onerous policies have now all been removed, but there is still work to be done. We are still studying the bills and will continue to work with the Council and TLC,” added Price.

Price noted that one of IDG’s remaining concerns is that much like the mistake of the medallion industry model, a vehicle cap would increase expenses to workers —and without a worker cap it may serve to incentivize more worker abuses. By allowing drivers to continue to flood the market, such a rule is unlikely to curb congestion and instead incentivize a shift to a fleet-based system, which erodes worker power and opportunity for building long term financial security. A cap on TLC licensed drivers is the worker-friendly solution that will work for both taxi drivers and app-based drivers. It’s essential the TLC watches that and curbs the wild west exploitation of the leasing and lending industries.

The IDG began pressing for pay rules in 2016 and released its formal, detailed proposal in November 2017. This included a livable minimum pay rate, which would also be a 37 percent raise over current Uber and Lyft rates, and a cap on the number of TLC-licensed drivers. The Guild went on to file a formal rulemaking petition in February 2018. In May, the city responded that it planned to act in approximately two months and released a report on its proposal this month: a pay floor that would raise driver pay by 22.5%.

The speaker’s office is also publicizing rules that are going to be proposed on August 8th that will give our members a health benefits fund, which is a Johnson bill about 1,000 of our members have signed a petition in support of, and presenting rules which would allow the TLC to regulate leasing companies. This progress comes on the heels of the IDG winning landmark new health and vision benefits for more than 42,000 Uber and Lyft drivers earlier this summer and follows the Guild’s successful campaign to force Uber to add tipping to the app.

See the timeline of the Guild’s campaign here: https://drivingguild.org/2018/06/29/pay-3/

There has been much misinformation being spread about the TLC’s pay proposal, we will soon be posting a FAQ here: https://drivingguild.org/2018/07/08/tlctesttrip/

See our backgrounder on why capping the number of TLC licensed FHV drivers is the labor-friendly alternative to capping the number of for-hire vehicles: https://drivingguild.org/2018/03/28/license-limit/

Press Releases

Unemployment Insurance Appeal Comment

Three Uber drivers were recently determined to employees and eligible for unemployment insurance through the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

All workers deserve the social safety net of being able to provide for their families when not able to work. We expect it will continue to take years to get any final ruling on the classification of all of our members, and in the meantime drivers are struggling to survive. It’s crucial that the city and state act to extend the safety net to all drivers now, by becoming the first in the nation to protect drivers with a livable minimum pay rate and by building on our workers’ compensation and the landmark new telemedicine and vision benefits we just won. Whether courts rule our members as Independent Contractors or Employees, the IDG or the IAM will always be bringing app-based drivers together for fair pay and dignity on the job.

Press Releases

NYC Report Explores First of Their Kind Pay Rules for Uber / Lyft Drivers

Proposal Follows A More than a Year Long Worker Campaign and Would Establish First Minimum Pay Rules for App-Based Drivers Who Lack Protection of a Minimum Wage

New York, NY — After more than a year long campaign by thousands of app-based drivers with the Independent Drivers Guild, New York City today is releasing a new report analyzing a proposal to establish a minimum pay rate for drivers. Below is a statement from the Guild:

“The new study confirms what we’ve been saying for some time – that drivers are in fact struggling and it’s time to act. New York must require exploitative companies like Uber and Lyft to pay a livable wage. The city must lead the way for a more fair industry on behalf of the more than 65,000 app-based drivers in our city as well as to set a precedent for those struggling all across the U.S.

We are continuing to analyze the potential proposal, but without a doubt establishing minimum pay rules that raise driver pay is the single most important step the city can take to help these struggling working families and we thank the city for listening to drivers and pursuing it. Most of all, we are proud and thankful for all the drivers who came together to fight for this critical action over the course of a more than year long campaign”

– Jim Conigliaro, Jr., Founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City

Timeline of IDG’s Campaign for Livable Pay Rules for App-Based Drivers

Thousands of drivers who make up the Independent Drivers Guild have spent more than a year campaigning for livable wage rules in New York City. From the Guild’s first letter to the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on the subject in June of 2016 to gathering more than 16,000 for-hire vehicle driver signatures on the Guild’s petition in 2017 and 2018. The city responded in May to IDG’s formal rulemaking petition stating it plans to put forward rules this summer. Here is a timeline of the Guild’s campaign.

June – July 2016

The IDG formally raised the issue of fare regulation to the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in June 2016 when the TLC proposed limiting the number of hours drivers could work. After polling drivers on the proposed 12 hour rule, the IDG argued that before limiting work hours, there must first be pay protection rules in place to ensure drivers could make a living.

Shortly after the IDG’s May launch, we sent a letter to TLC President Meera Joshi on June 23, 2016 in opposition to the proposed rule to limit driver hours without taking measures to maintain driver pay. In July 2016, the IDG also submitted the signatures of 615 drivers who signed on to the letter calling for a livable pay floor before capping driver hours. The IDG reinforced this position to the TLC when they attended an IDG meeting with drivers at IDG offices (in late 2016).

Fall 2016

The IDG worked with the TLC to provide solutions to improve driver pay. IDG made members available for interview with the TLC to discuss their earnings, expenses and their daily struggles to make ends meet. IDG gave suggestions for survey questions the TLC should consider.

December 2016

The first TLC survey on driver pay was launched.

February 2017

The IDG discussed the need for livable wage rules in letter and petition to TLC on tipping

April 2017

IDG drivers sent 1,500 emails on the IDG platform to TLC in April and made hundreds of calls to TLC on fair pay agenda.

IDG called for a transparent mile and minute pay protected from commission and other charges at a TLC hearing attended by 60 drivers.

The IDG released its pay survey data and demands (Press release).

The TLC responded in favor of IDG’s tipping petition and also noted their agreement with the IDG’s call for livable wage rules.

The NYT Editorial Board sited IDG stats on pay.

May 2017

IDG launched a pay petition and spent the next several months gathering signatures.

Summer and Fall 2017

IDG continued to collect driver data on pay and conducted research to support pay rules.

November 2017

IDG released formal pay proposal, a 19 page report, with the support of 8,000 drivers signatures.

February 2018

IDG member Doug Schifter took his own life in front of City Hall. While Schifter was neither the first, nor the last driver to die by suicide as a result of economic hardship, it was the first to garner widespread media attention.

After more than a year of discussion and research, the IDG launched a formal rulemaking petition to put pressure on the TLC for timely action.

March 2018

IDG President Jim Conigliaro, Jr. published an op-ed in Crains pleading with the industry to stop scapegoating drivers for New York’s transportation problems.

The IDG released an explainer on why capping the number of TLC licenses is a labor-friendly alternative to the proposed cap on vehicles.

April – May 2018

300 FHV drivers rallied outside city hall, including staging a rush hour funeral caravan over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall to call for fair pay and protest the punitive Diaz Bill (Intro 838-a). Driver-activists called for pay protections instead of a law that would drive them deeper into poverty.

The IDG launched digital ad campaign reinforcing their opposition of Intro 838-a and demands for pay protections.

IDG member and allies flyered City Hall and sent nearly 4,000 phone calls and emails to the TLC in opposition of the Diaz Bill and continue to demand driver pay reform.

FHV driver and IDG Steward Aziz Bah published an op-ed in the New York Daily News describing his financial struggles and the need for better pay.

IDG announces support of labor and community leaders for livable wage rules for app-based drivers.

May 2018

The TLC responded to the IDG pay petition and stated they plan to put forward pay proposal in two months.

The New York Times and New York Daily News editorialize in favor of establishing a regulated livable wage for drivers and a cap on app fees.

June 2018

IDG members and allies made more than 200 calls to City Council in 36 hours in a continued effort to demand fair pay and an end to the Diaz bill. To make an even more direct case, they held a lobby day and a flyer Day in City Council district offices to address City Council members and staff in person.

See the timeline here

The Independent Drivers Guild is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City. We are Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.

Media contact: press@drivingguild.org
703-416-9188

Press Releases

New York Launches First Health Benefits Plan for App-Based and Other For-Hire Drivers

New York’s Black Car Fund launches vision and telemedical benefits for drivers

New York, NY– The Black Car Fund, the nation’s first fully self-funded, self-insured and self-administered non-profit workers’ compensation provider – formed by New York State statute nearly 20 years ago – will now be the first in the nation to provide professional drivers with vision and telemedicine benefits. Developed in coordination with the Independent Drivers Guild, the new benefits plan will cover more than 42,000 app-based and black car drivers and will be funded by the longstanding 2.5 percent Black Car Fund rider surcharge.

Working with the Independent Drivers Guild, the Black Car Fund will offer these new benefits beginning July 1, 2018. Uber will be assisting with outreach efforts. The groups also reached out to Lyft, Via and other app-based services for assistance, and are awaiting response. The benefits will cover for-hire drivers in New York State who qualify by driving a minimum number of hours per month, including workers driving for all app-based car service companies.

“When the Black Car Fund first started its benefits programs, it was ahead of its time; now it’s 2018 and it’s time to implement concrete solutions as the national gig-economy grows. Providing telemedicine and vision benefits will make drivers healthier, safer, and happier—and in turn, be a model for the rest of the country. This is the direction the industry must go for the betterment of for-hire drivers,” said Ira Goldstein, Executive Director of the Black Car Fund.

“This is a proud moment for our Guild and a huge step toward a more fair industry,” said Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City. “New York’s for-hire vehicle drivers are being crushed under the weight of sub minimum wage pay and have no access to the social safety net and benefits most workers take for granted. While we continue our fight for livable pay, we are pleased that drivers who need glasses will finally be able to get them along with 24/7 access to a doctor, all at no cost.”

“These new benefits are a much-needed breakthrough for drivers for apps like Uber and Lyft and we hope to both expand on these benefits in New York and help workers across the U.S. to win similar gains,” saidAndrew Greenblatt of IDG Benefits Fund, the Guild’s sister organization that provides benefits and health screenings to drivers.

“It’s fair to say that the workers’ compensation industry has been watching the approach of the NY Black Car Fund for some time. Its innovative approach to addressing a gap in workers’ compensation coverage has far-reaching possibilities as we see economic shifts change the way we work. The NY Black Car Fund will be speaking at the IAIABC’s upcoming 104th Convention, and we look forward to hearing how they continue to adapt their model to meet the needs of workers,” said Heather Lore, senior manager of membership and communications at the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions.

“With the rapid growth of for-hire car service companies and their independent workforce, the Black Car Fund feels a responsibility to ensure a new population of drivers are healthy and safe. We are proud that we can offer these new benefits at no new cost to the public, to help drivers and make the streets safer for everyone,” said Berj Haroutunian, Executive Chairman of the Black Car Fund.

“Money is tight– I can’t afford the time off or expense of doctor’s visits, but for my child, doctor’s visits are not optional. So I find myself making trade-offs on which bill I will have to skip paying that month,” said Independent Drivers Guild member Tina Raveneau, a single mom who drives for Uber and Lyft. “Getting those school year sick visits done for free over video chat is going to save me a bundle, get my child seen more quickly, and alleviate a huge stress of parenting in this industry.”

New Benefits

Driver Telemedicine Benefit
Driver Optical Plan

About the Black Car Fund

The New York Black Car Operators’ Injury Compensation Fund, otherwise known as The Black Car Fund, The Fund, or BCF, was created for the purpose of providing workers’ compensation coverage to Black Car Operators in the State of New York. The BCF was formed by state statute in 1999, and began issuing coverage in 2000.

BCF has approximately 365 Member Bases throughout the State of New York and provides coverage to approximately 125,000 Drivers. The Black Car Fund is funded entirely by passengers in the form of a 2.5% surcharge per ride.

Press Releases

Drivers Slam New Diaz Bill, Call for Worker-Friendly Laws

NEW Bill Could Force Mass Driver Layoffs, Leaving Thousands of NYC Families Unemployed

New York, NY — Members of the Independent Drivers Guild are calling on City Council to enact worker-friendly for-hire vehicle laws as drivers for apps like Uber, Lyft and Juno continue to struggle to make ends meet. In particular, IDG members are calling for the City Council to oppose a newly amended bill, Proposed Intro 838-A, which could destroy their livelihoods and force mass layoffs of thousands of New York City app-based drivers. In a survey of IDG members, 98% opposed Intro 838-A. Guild members took to City Hall in response on Wednesday distributing hundreds of flyers and speaking with several Council Members.

“More than 65,000 New York City families depend on an app-based driver for their household income. Yet while companies repeatedly exploit drivers, who are largely low income immigrants, New York lawmakers have failed to enact crucial protections and instead pursued policies that only pit one sector of the industry against the other while bringing further strain to working families,” said Uber driver and IDG steward Sohail Rana. “There are important steps that lawmakers can take to reign in companies like Uber and Lyft and stop the exploitation without harming drivers and their families.”

“What on Earth do they think is going to happen if they legislate an impossible quota? Thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of New Yorkers will lose their livelihoods. There is a better way,” said IDG member Michele Dottin, who spent the day on Wednesday talking to Council Members and staffers at City Hall. “To disguise forcible layoffs of thousands of New Yorkers as a wage guarantee is about as cynical as it gets. Many Councilmembers simply lack the data to understand the implications here, which is why we think the smart move is for City Council to let the Taxi and Limousine Commission take the lead. The TLC has the data, the IDG has been helping them collect it for months and they told us they will be ready with proposals this summer. Let’s hear what they have to say instead of knee jerk policy decisions driven by special interests and political donors.”

The Guild has been campaigning for livable wage rules for months and this week the TLC responded to the IDG’s rulemaking petition stating the Commission would put forward wage rules in approximately two months.

Under pressure from the Independent Drivers Guild, which led a 300-driver protest of bill Intro 838 last month, New York City Council Member and FHV Committee Chairman Ruben Diaz Sr removed the most punitive measure from his original bill, a new $2000 per year tax on app-based drivers. But in its place, he added a new quota system that would require apps to pay all affiliated drivers for ten trips per day, everyday, whether they work or not. However, Uber, Lyft and Juno, the city’s three most popular ride hail apps, average far less than this quota. This practically guarantees that apps will layoff thousands of drivers and change their terms to require a minimum log-in time and/or a fee for using the app. The bill also would prohibit drivers from working for more than one company or app and force them to add big, permanent numbers to their personal vehicles like taxis.

Problems in the Diaz bill for Drivers Include:

Thousands of layoffs: Currently Uber only has enough demand to send 10 trips per day to 40,000 of its more than 60,000 drivers. For Lyft and Juno it’s even worse.

No Day Off, 10 Trip Minimum: Remaining workers would likely face immense pressure never to take a day off and get fired for missing the 10 trip per day minimum.

Pay to Work and Shift Work: Apps would likely require drivers to pay to work in order to reduce their risk and share the costs of this requirement with drivers and require drivers to work minimum hours/ sign up for long shifts.

10 Trips Per Day Limit – Income Cap – Any drivers who are not laid off could expect that they won’t get dispatched more trips once they have reached 10. Apps would have incentive to prioritize all dispatches toward meeting the 10 trips requirement, but once it’s met a driver can expect to go to the very back of the queue.

Drivers of Luxury Vehicles May Suffer – IDG fought hard for the ability of drivers of luxury vehicles and SUVs to opt out of low cost trips that do not allow them to pay the bills. These drivers would likely be forced to take low cost trips that leave them upside down because the volume of luxury trips does not align with this quota.

Lower Hourly Earnings, More Deadhead Time – With a system that prioritizes implausible quotas, IDG expects more deadhead time between trips which will lower hourly earnings — and riders can expect longer waits.

The IDG advocates regulating the app-based industry while helping all FHV workers make a living wage. In addition to opposing the Diaz bill, the IDG is calling on City Council to:

Media contact: press@drivingguild.org

drivingguild.org
facebook.com/DrivingGuild
twitter.com/DrivingGuild
podcast: http://idg.podbean.com/

The Independent Drivers Guild is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City. We are Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.

Press Releases

Independent Drivers Guild Celebrates New York City’s Commitment to Put Forward Livable Wage Rules This Summer

City Officials Respond to Pay Rule Petition From Drivers for Apps like Uber, Lyft, Juno

New York, NY — In response to a formal rulemaking petition from the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG), New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) stated it plans to put forward rules on industry-wide for-hire vehicle driver income and pay transparency later this summer. The Commission responded to groundbreaking new pay rules proposed by the IDG, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 60,000 app-based drivers in the city, stating that the Commission “is in the midst of analyzing various methodologies and will include the one you proposed in this process.” The city is required to respond to rule petitions within sixty days, either agreeing to initiate rulemaking by a certain date or denying the request. In this case, the city responded that it plans to initiate rulemaking in approximately two months.

“New York City could be the first in the nation to set a livable wage rule that applies to drivers for apps like Uber and Lyft. More than 60,000 New York City families depend on the earnings of app-based drivers, but are struggling under the weight of tens of thousands of dollars in annual expenses as apps take larger and larger cuts. Thousands of drivers with the Guild have been waging a campaign for a livable, minimum pay rate for many months and we are pleased that the TLC plans to act this summer,” said Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, which has provided the TLC with information on driver pay and expenses over the course of the last year, including IDG survey data, driver interviews, and input on and participation in TLC surveys.

More than 16,000 drivers signed on to the IDG’s petition, which also has support from labor and community leaders, including the International Association of Machinists, the New York City Central Labor Council, The Black Institute and the New York Immigration Coalition. IDG members have sent nearly 4,000 emails to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission urging adoption of the pay protections and run digital ads urging a raise for drivers and recently the New York Daily News and the New York Times editorial boards editorialized in favor of such pay protections. The IDG proposed rules also include a desperately needed raise to the city’s app-based drivers who shoulder tens of thousands of dollars in expenses each year.

“I just filed my taxes and the enormous expenses and commissions brought my total earnings down to $24,000. I’m lucky if i take home minimum wage. We are struggling to get by while the apps continue a race to the bottom, slashing pay and hiking fees. It’s time for the city to stand up for the more than sixty thousand working families like mine who depend on driving for apps for a living,” said Independent Drivers Guild member Tina Raveneau, who drives for Uber and Lyft. “I support my son without any coparenting, and I am crushed monthly by high insurance rates, high company commissions, gas, vehicle maintenance and a weekly rental payment of $425. It’s getting harder and harder to make enough money to sustain a living.”

The IDG’s proposed rules would also protect riders by prohibiting apps from charging riders more than 20 percent over what the driver is paid. It is unclear if the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission intends to include rider app fees as part of its forthcoming rulemaking, though the commission already regulates rider fares and fees in the taxi sector. Currently, apps can charge passengers more than double what a worker is paid, and the IDG’s report has examples of just that. The IDG’s proposed rules would discourage price gouging and ensure drivers get to keep 80 percent of their earnings, which would return commissions to the rates riders and drivers agreed to before Uber and Lyft changed the fine print to allow for unlimited commissions.

“All working people deserve a livable wage. App-based workers are a large and growing class of Americans being denied this basic right. We are proud to stand in support of our affiliated Independent Drivers Guild, which is fighting to change that. These are landmark rules that would require ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft to adhere to a minimum, livable pay rate for the very first time. It is a momentous decision that will advance the fight for a ‘sharing economy’ that actually shares,” said Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez Jr.

“The New York City Central Labor Council joins the Machinists Union and the Independent Drivers Guild in demanding an end to the minimum wage loopholes that force drivers to work longer and longer hours and still leave them unable to pay for housing and care for their families,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the NYC CLC, AFL-CIO. “All workers have the right to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We support these efforts to secure a livable minimum pay rate for app-based drivers, so that these companies will no longer be able to make enormous profits while getting away with exploiting working people in our city.”

“Immigrant for-hire vehicle drivers – 90% of all such drivers – fuel New York’s five boroughs and our economy. New York City should enact a livable wage for drivers to give 60,000 families the key to unlocking greater access and opportunity,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

“Whether you drive a yellow, green, black, or app-based car, you should be on an equal and level pay rate. App-based drivers should not be paid less than other drivers for the same work. All of our city’s drivers should be paid fairly and that starts with equal pay and approving the Independent Drivers Guild’s petition to enact a livable minimum wage for drivers and their families. The TLC, City Council and Mayor need to treat all drivers fairly and ensure pay equity across the entire industry,” said Bertha Lewis, President and Founder of The Black Institute.

Last year, IDG members petitioned for and won a New York City law and a TLC rule which forced Uber and Via to add a tipping option to their apps. In that petition, the IDG noted that further protections were needed to ensure drivers could maintain a dignified living. The Commission responded in agreement, stating “we agree with your position that rules governing tipping are not a substitute for a regulatory scheme that ensures that Drivers earn a livable wage.” Guild members and the TLC have had ongoing discussions on the need for pay protection rules since shortly after the IDG’s launch in 2016 and continuing with the issuance of the IDG’s detailed proposal in November 2017.

A 2017 Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) survey of New York City Drivers found that:

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Press Releases

5 Days Left

MOMENTUM BUILDS FOR FIRST EVER MINIMUM PAY RATE FOR APP-BASED DRIVERS

Deadline Looms for City to Decide On Pay Rule Petition From The Independent Drivers Guild

New York, NY — New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has until Monday, May 21st to decide whether to accept or reject groundbreaking new pay rules proposed by the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 60,000 app-based drivers in the city. Support for the rules is growing, with more than 16,000 drivers signed on to the petition, along with support from labor and community leaders, including the International Association of Machinists, the New York City Central Labor Council, The Black Institute and the New York Immigration Coalition. IDG members have sent nearly 4,000 emails to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission urging adoption of the pay protections and run digital ads urging a raise for drivers and recently the New York Daily News and the New York Times editorial boards editorialized in favor of such pay protections.

The new rules would set the nation’s first minimum pay rate for app-based drivers, while also delivering a desperately needed raise to the city’s app-based drivers who shoulder tens of thousands of dollars in expenses each year.  The rules would also protect riders by prohibiting apps from charging riders more than 20 percent over what the driver is paid. Currently, apps can charge passengers more than double what a worker is paid, and the IDG’s report has examples of just that. The IDG’s proposed rule would discourage price gouging and ensure drivers get to keep 80 percent of their earnings, which would return commissions to the rates riders and drivers agreed to before Uber and Lyft changed the fine print to allow for unlimited commissions.

“I just filed my taxes and the enormous expenses and commissions brought my total earnings down to $24,000. I’m lucky if I take home minimum wage. We are struggling to get by while the apps continue a race to the bottom, slashing pay and hiking fees. It’s time for the city to stand up for the more than sixty thousand working families like mine who depend on driving for apps for a living,” said Independent Drivers Guild member Tina Raveneau, who drives for Uber and Lyft. “I support my son without any coparenting, and I am crushed monthly by high insurance rates, high company commissions, gas, vehicle maintenance and a weekly car rental payment of $425. It’s getting harder and harder to make enough money to sustain a living.”

“All working people deserve a livable wage. App-based workers are a large and growing class of Americans being denied this basic right. We are proud to stand in support of our affiliated Independent Drivers Guild, which is fighting to change that. These are landmark rules that would require ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft to adhere to a minimum, livable pay rate for the very first time. It is a momentous decision that will advance the fight for a ‘sharing economy’ that actually shares,” said Machinists Union International President Robert Martinez Jr.

“The New York City Central Labor Council joins the Machinists Union and the Independent Drivers Guild in demanding an end to the minimum wage loopholes that force drivers to work longer and longer hours and still leave them unable to pay for housing and care for their families,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the NYC CLC, AFL-CIO. “All workers have the right to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We support these efforts to secure a livable minimum pay rate for app-based drivers, so that these companies will no longer be able to make enormous profits while getting away with exploiting working people in our city.”

“Immigrant for-hire vehicle drivers – 90% of all such drivers – fuel New York’s five boroughs and our economy. The New York City Council should enact a livable wage for drivers to give 60,000 families the key to unlocking greater access and opportunity,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

“Whether you drive a yellow, green, black, or app-based car, you should be on an equal and level pay rate. App-based drivers should not be paid less than other drivers for the same work. All of our city’s drivers should be paid fairly and that starts with equal pay and approving the Independent Drivers Guild’s petition to enact a livable minimum wage for drivers and their families. The TLC, City Council and Mayor need to treat all drivers fairly and ensure pay equity across the entire industry,” said Bertha Lewis, President and Founder of The Black Institute.

The city is required to respond to rule petitions within sixty days, either agreeing to grant the petition and initiate rulemaking or denying the request. While the TLC enforces certain protections for driver pay and to prevent consumer price gouging in the taxi industry, there have been no such protections in the app-based for hire vehicle industry.

Last year, IDG members petitioned for and won a New York City law and a TLC rule which forced Uber and Via to add a tipping option to their apps. In that petition, the IDG noted that further protections were needed to ensure drivers could maintain a dignified living. The Commission responded in agreement, stating “we agree with your position that rules governing tipping are not a substitute for a regulatory scheme that ensures that Drivers earn a livable wage.” Guild members and the TLC have had ongoing discussions on the need for pay protection rules since shortly after the IDG’s launch in 2016 and continuing with the issuance of the IDG’s detailed proposal in November 2017.

A 2017 Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) survey of New York City Drivers found that:

###

CONTACT: Email press@drivingguild.org with questions or to request interview.

The Independent Drivers Guild is an affiliate of Machinists Union District 15 of app-based drivers. We are Uber, Lyft, Via, Juno workers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.

Press Releases

Momentum Builds for the First Ever Minimum Pay Rate for App-based Drivers

Deadline Looms for City to Decide On Pay Rule Petition From The Independent Drivers Guild

New York, NY — New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has until Monday, May 21st to decide whether to accept or reject groundbreaking new pay rules proposed by the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 60,000 app-based drivers in the city. Support for the rules is growing, with more than 16,000 drivers signed on to the petition, along with support from labor and community leaders, including the International Association of Machinists, the New York City Central Labor Council, The Black Institute and the New York Immigration Coalition. IDG members have sent nearly 4,000 emails to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission urging adoption of the pay protections and run digital ads urging a raise for drivers and recently the New York Daily News and the New York Times editorial boards editorialized in favor of such pay protections.

The new rules would set the nation’s first minimum pay rate for app-based drivers, while also delivering a desperately needed raise to the city’s app-based drivers who shoulder tens of thousands of dollars in expenses each year. The rules would also protect riders by prohibiting apps from charging riders more than 20 percent over what the driver is paid. Currently, apps can charge passengers more than double what a worker is paid, and the IDG’s report has examples of just that. The IDG’s proposed rule would discourage price gouging and ensure drivers get to keep 80 percent of their earnings, which would return commissions to the rates riders and drivers agreed to before Uber and Lyft changed the fine print to allow for unlimited commissions.

“I just filed my taxes and the enormous expenses and commissions brought my total earnings down to $24,000. I’m lucky if I take home minimum wage. We are struggling to get by while the apps continue a race to the bottom, slashing pay and hiking fees. It’s time for the city to stand up for the more than sixty thousand working families like mine who depend on driving for apps for a living. I support my son without any coparenting, and I am crushed monthly by high insurance rates, high company commissions, gas, vehicle maintenance and a weekly car rental payment of $425. It’s getting harder and harder to make enough money to sustain a living.”

– Tina Raveneau, Uber and Lyft driver, Independent Drivers Guild member

 

“All working people deserve a livable wage. App-based workers are a large and growing class of Americans being denied this basic right. We are proud to stand in support of our affiliated Independent Drivers Guild, which is fighting to change that. These are landmark rules that would require ride-hail apps like Uber and Lyft to adhere to a minimum, livable pay rate for the very first time. It is a momentous decision that will advance the fight for a ‘sharing economy’ that actually shares,”

– Robert Martinez Jr., Machinists Union International President

 

“The New York City Central Labor Council joins the Machinists Union and the Independent Drivers Guild in demanding an end to the minimum wage loopholes that force drivers to work longer and longer hours and still leave them unable to pay for housing and care for their families. All workers have the right to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. We support these efforts to secure a livable minimum pay rate for app-based drivers, so that these companies will no longer be able to make enormous profits while getting away with exploiting working people in our city.”

– Vincent Alvarez, President of the NYC CLC, AFL-CIO.

 

“Immigrant for-hire vehicle drivers – 90% of all such drivers – fuel New York’s five boroughs and our economy. The New York City Council should enact a livable wage for drivers to give 60,000 families the key to unlocking greater access and opportunity.”

– Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition

 

“Whether you drive a yellow, green, black, or app-based car, you should be on an equal and level pay rate. App-based drivers should not be paid less than other drivers for the same work. All of our city’s drivers should be paid fairly and that starts with equal pay and approving the Independent Drivers Guild’s petition to enact a livable minimum wage for drivers and their families. The TLC, City Council and Mayor need to treat all drivers fairly and ensure pay equity across the entire industry,”

– Bertha Lewis, President and Founder of The Black Institute.

The city is required to respond to rule petitions within sixty days, either agreeing to grant the petition and initiate rulemaking or denying the request. While the TLC enforces certain protections for driver pay and to prevent consumer price gouging in the taxi industry, there have been no such protections in the app-based for hire vehicle industry.

Last year, IDG members petitioned for and won a New York City law and a TLC rule which forced Uber and Via to add a tipping option to their apps. In that petition, the IDG noted that further protections were needed to ensure drivers could maintain a dignified living. The Commission responded in agreement, stating “we agree with your position that rules governing tipping are not a substitute for a regulatory scheme that ensures that Drivers earn a livable wage.” Guild members and the TLC have had ongoing discussions on the need for pay protection rules since shortly after the IDG’s launch in 2016 and continuing with the issuance of the IDG’s detailed proposal in November 2017.

A 2017 Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) survey of New York City Drivers found that:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

##

CONTACT: Email press@drivingguild.org with questions or to request interview.

drivingguild.org
facebook.com/DrivingGuild
twitter.com/DrivingGuild
podcast: http://idg.ms/podcast

The Independent Drivers Guild is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and represents and advocates for more than 60,000 app-based drivers in New York City. We are Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.