The men and women behind the wheel need a minimum wage, not more fees
By Jim Conigliaro, Jr.
We all want the best for our city, from public transit improvements to reduced congestion, but the financial burden cannot be allowed to fall on those who can least afford it. Uber and Lyft drivers are hardworking men and women who are just trying to help their families climb the economic ladder, but are being exploited by an industry run amok.
Rather than allow these workers to be made scapegoats for New York’s funding and traffic woes, New York must recognize that they are falling through the holes in our safety net—and act to protect them.
Read the complete article here
Due to workers occasionally messaging us with intent to self-harm, and the recent passing of Doug Schifter, we feel it’s important to post some important resources if you or a loved one are considering self-harm.
- Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255
- Local Emergency Room: NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull
Address: 760 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11206
Phone #: 718-963-8000
- Call 911 if you can’t get to your local emergency room
Here are a few other resources that could be helpful:
NYC Affirmative Psychotherapy – Rana Shokeh, LMSW
41-51 East 11th St 4th Fl New York, New York 10003 (347) 801-7932
Specialities: Depression, Anxiety, & Racial Identity
Sliding Scale for low income patients
Mind and Body Wellness Medical Center
32-72 Steinway 5th Floor Astoria, New York 11103 (347) 609-7769
420 64th Street Brooklyn, New York 11220 (347) 609-7769
Specialties: Depression, Anxiety, & Relationship Issues
Arabic Speaking Staff
Sliding Scale for low income patients
Social Work Counseling Services, LCC
2924 Hoyt Avenue South Astoria, NY 11102
There are also plenty of resources on www.psychologytoday.com depending on if you have insurance or not.
If you know of any free resources for low income workers, please contact us.
Last year, workers came together to win the tipping option. It took about a year and 12,000 signatures, but we forced corporate giants Via and Uber to add a tipping option to their apps.
Do you remember these videos from the tipping campaign?
We would like to make similar videos about the pay campaign to tell the story of struggling Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers—but good videos are not cheap or easy. The above video along with its second video cost the IDG about $10,000.
Donate today to help us produce videos stressing how much for-hire vehicle workers are struggling today.
Testimony of Ryan Price, Executive Director
Independent Drivers Guild
New York City Council Committee on Transportation
June 21, 2017
Good Morning Chairman Rodriguez and Members of the Committee, my name is Ryan Price and I am the Executive Director of the The Independent Drivers Guild. The IDG is a nonprofit affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) that represents 50,000 working drivers throughout the for-hire vehicle industry. The IAMAW has been the only union to successfully organize black car workers in New York City, and has been doing so for twenty years. The IDG started in May of 2016. We focus on organizing workers of the app-based for-hire vehicle industry to win a more fair for-hire vehicle industry. In the past year, we’ve heard from tens of thousands of workers on how to improve the for-hire vehicle industry, and organize to realize those improvements.
On behalf of our membership, first and foremost, we thank you Mr. Chairman for your leadership and support of this very important issue that will have a significant and meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of drivers and their families. We also want to thank the the Taxi and Limousine Commission for accepting our petition to mandate a tipping option across the for-hire vehicle industry, as well as Council Member Espinal, Chin, Lander, Menchaca, Public Advocate Tish James and Comptroller Scott Stringer and many other city and state officials for supporting our long-run campaign and proposing a local law to cement our proposal to make tipping standard again.
We support Intro 1646 which mandates a gratuity option for black car and luxury limousine services. We stand in strong support of this legislation, which will provide a desperately needed raise to thousands of New York families who are struggling to make ends meet after years of pay cuts. We also urge the adoption of four essential amendments for the economic well-being of our members—91% of whom are US immigrants from more than 150 countries, 56% of whom care for a dependent, and 27% of whom lack and are seeking health insurance—and stress how vital it is that workers and regulators continue work hand-in-hand to protect New Yorkers by implementing pay regulation.
Labor platform companies like Uber, Lyft, Juno, Gett, and Via all know how important it is to have a tipping option, but those companies seem incapable of developing a policy that workers are actually asking for. Those companies know Americans are struggling to pay their debts and often feel fortunate to just have a job—so when companies slash pay, the workers are pressured to both perform more trips per hour and work dangerously long shifts just to feed their families and keep up—and the company profits more than ever.
New York City can be the global leader and be a part of curbing the culture of driver exploitation. A strong tipping regulation is potentially a $300 million dollar issue for New York City for-hire vehicle workers and their families. We urge New York’s City Council Members and the Taxi and Limousine Commission to strengthen the driver protections they have proposed and ensure fair and consistent application of the tipping option for all for hire vehicle drivers through these four actions:
- Mandate parity with the Taxi industry by requiring the tip options be 20%, 25%, 30%, or other—and offer customers the option to select a preset tip percentage to be automatically applied across all trips on that platform.
- Bar any additional hurdles to tipping or notification of the tipping option. For example, companies should be prohibited from requiring customers to rate a driver’s service at a certain level before being able to give gratuity.
- The option to tip must be available for a minimum of twenty-four hours.
- Gratuity must be classified as completely separate from a worker’s pay. That way companies cannot take a cut of a worker’s gratuity, and gratuity cannot count toward “incentives”—therefore acting as an effective tipped wage. This will also ensure the estimated $300 million in gratuities per year would stay in the hands of New Yorkers rather than being raided by multinational corporations.
We again thank you for your support and request the swift passage of Intro 1646 and thank you for supporting New York City for-hire vehicle workers.
Thank you and I am available for any questions the committee may have
The Independent Drivers Guild is a Machinists Union affiliate representing app-based drivers. We are Uber, Lyft, Via, Juno, Gett workers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.
Fox 5 NY | Lida Curanaj
See the Fox 5 interview with Guild founder Jim Conigliaro Jr at: http://www.fox5ny.com/your-money/139582560-story