Major Action on April 30: Fight the Diaz Bill

On Monday April 30, Council Member Ruben Diaz, the Chair of the City Council’s For-Hire Vehicle Committee is proposing a new law that will destroy our jobs if the City Council decides to pass it. This bill is intended to take the income away from tens of thousands of immigrant families.

ADDITIONAL $2,000 YEARLY FEE JUST TO WORK: This bill would require each driver that works with an app-based service pays $2,000 per year—just to work.

YOU COULD ONLY WORK FOR ONE COMPANY: If you work for both Uber and Lyft right now—you would have to choose between the two. Permanently. You would not be able to switch between Uber, Lyft, and Juno. You could only choose one that you work for, permanently. You would no longer be allowed to be a luxury black car, livery, green or yellow driver that uses an app company in between clients.

IF UBER FIRES YOU, YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION: Uber terminates hundreds of workers every month. Under this bill if you are one of the people Uber fires at random, you would not only continue to not have access to unemployment insurance, and you would not be able to work with another company unless you pay another $2,000 fee.

HOW DO THEY EXPECT US TO SURVIVE?: It’s hard enough to make money as it is, not it’s about to get much harder.


Lead Organizer

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 Lead 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:

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.


Financial Planning for FHV Drivers

Stressed about taxes? Understanding your taxes not only relieves stress, it also gives you an immediate opportunity to increase your income from driving. Wondering where to begin? The IDG can help.

The IDG will be hosting a tax seminar in partnership with the Financial Planning Association of New York. In addition to walking you through tax forms and the tax law as it applies to rideshare drivers, the seminar will equip you with the knowledge you need to save money on taxes — from how to best track costs and deduct expenses, to paying estimated taxes and using tax-advantaged savings accounts.

If your goal is to make more money from driving, this might be the most important seminar you attend this year. We hope you can join us!

Attendance is limited to 35 people. Sign up now to reserve your spot!

Active | News

New Tax on Our Labor

For the past few months, Uber has been pushing alongside the MTA to implement a new tax on the labor of 100,000 immigrant workers. We have been at the table demanding the following:

The final deal was decided late last week. Elected officials agreed on a deal that implements the following to fund the MTA:

Instead of a tax on all vehicles, for-hire vehicles have been singled out to carry the burden for the whole city, while commercial trucks and private cars get off scot-free. It’s clear that for-hire vehicles are seen as the low hanging fruit and there is little doubt that is because monied special interests take precedent and most FHV drivers are immigrants who can’t vote.

Still, we did successfully beat back previous proposals that would have been worse, including a $1 tax on all rides in New York City in addition to the new Manhattan tax for app-based trips, and no tax on any other vehicles.

While we did not win the social safety net for drivers in the budget bill, we believe that we have the support to win in the regular State legislative session. State elected officials could not deliver on the guarantee to stop companies from taking the sum of the tax from our cut of the fare, however all eyes are on our demand that the Taxi and Limousine Commission regulate pay. If the TLC approves our rule, our pay will be protected from this and other taxes. The city’s decision will be announced by May 21st.

With the support of 15,000 petition signers that are struggling to provide for their families, the backing of state and city elected officials, and the support of our partner community organizations, we know that we will win a fair industry.

This new tax will be devastating to some of our members. But by coming together and compelling the TLC and other elected officials to move forward on our other proposals we will no longer have to face the dilemma of having to choose between spending time with our families and being able to provide for them.

The IDG is a Machinists Union affiliate organizing app-based drivers. We are Uber, Lyft, Via, Juno workers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.


Ride-hailing drivers demand minimum wage from services like Uber and Lyft

Drivers of ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber are demanding a minimum wage.

The Independent Drivers Guild is petitioning the Taxi and Limousine Commission for a 37% pay increase and an end to price gouging in the industry.

The group wants to cap rider app fees at 20%.

The petition requires the city to respond within 60 days.

It currently has more than 15,000 supporters.

Full story and video here

Active | Event

Action Night Tuesday Night!

Join us for our weekly action nights to help us win the fight for pay regulation. We’ll be reaching out to fellow IDG members and encouraging them to get involved in this important fight!


Opportunity Fair

Join us for our second ever IDG Opportunity Fair! We have partnered with non-profits, unions, and universities to offer a variety of free service accessible to you. At the fair, you will find:

EVENT PARKING OPTIONS: From 5:00pm-7:00pm the neighborhood clears out in terms of street parking. From 7:00-9:00pm all the commercial space in front of the building will be open and legal for you to park at!

If you have any questions/concerns/etc. about the event, please email – marygrace {at} drivingguild {dot} org


Cap For-Hire Drivers: The Labor-Friendly Alternative to a Vehicle Cap

As New York searches for solutions to the decades-long problem of congestion, it has focused the blame largely on for-hire vehicle drivers. We all agree the glut of drivers has outpaced demand, forcing us to work longer and longer shifts and increasing unpaid downtime between fares. There is a solution that will help current drivers make a better living while reducing traffic congestion: a cap on new TLC-licensed drivers and a raise.

Worker cap not a vehicle cap.

The number of for-hire vehicle drivers serving our city has exploded in recent years and is one of the factors depressing driver pay and crowding our streets. Limiting new TLC drivers will mean fewer cars on the street and more work per hour for current drivers — FHV and taxi drivers alike. What’s more, a limited pool of drivers will force apps and taxi bosses to compete for drivers, which could mean better pay, better policies and app improvements.

While a cap on drivers would make the workers more valuable, a cap on vehicles would make vehicle operating costs more expensive – an expense struggling drivers cannot afford. Much as the scarcity of taxi medallions led to skyrocketing prices in the last decade that pushed medallion ownership out of reach for drivers, a scarcity of vehicles would drive up costs for workers, pricing drivers out of our own jobs.

A cap on drivers is the labor-friendly way to address our crowded streets and improve the ability for all for-hire drivers to make a living.

A raise will help congestion.

Last week we submitted our petition to the Taxi and Limousine Commission demanding a 37% pay increase. We came to the number 37% because right now, drivers are working a median 11 hours per day and our goal is for workers to be able to make a living in an eight hour day.

Decreasing the workday for drivers mean decreasing the number of vehicles on NYC streets at any given time.

Working together we can create a more fair industry while reducing congestion.

Sign our petition for fair pay for FHV drivers.

News Coverage






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.



Financial Planning for FHV Drivers

The IDG is hosting a workshop to help member prepare taxes and understand how tax law applies to rideshare drivers. The seminar will equip you with the knowledge you need to save money on taxes — from how to best track costs and deduct expenses, to paying estimated taxes and using tax-advantaged savings accounts. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today.

Press Releases

Uber and Lyft Drivers Petition NYC for a Ride-Hail Minimum Wage

Formal Rulemaking Petition Requires City To Decide in Sixty Days

More than 15,000 Drivers Sign Petition Calling for City to Close the Minimum Wage Loophole, Raise Pay and End Price Gouging

New York, NY — Today, the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is formally petitioning New York City to enact a livable minimum wage for app-based for-hire vehicle drivers, which would increase pay rates by 37 percent, and to prohibit price gouging in the industry, by capping rider app fees at 20 percent. The IDG, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 60,000 of these drivers, submitted the proposed rule today to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), the agency responsible for licensing and regulating New York City’s taxis and for-hire vehicles. The IDG’s petition advocating for the proposal has garnered support from more than 15,000 signers.  The IDG will continue its campaign for these pay protections by launching calls and emails to city officials as well as promoting the cause with flyers and ads.

Recently, MIT researchers found that a significant portion of Uber and Lyft Drivers make less than minimum wage after expenses. Even in New York City, where nine in ten Drivers drive as their household’s main source of income, IDG survey data shows that many Drivers make less than minimum wage after expenses.

“After years of pay cuts and exploitation, New York City’s ride-hail drivers can’t make ends meet and many are making less than minimum wage after expenses. New York has a long history of standing up for working families and must not allow these apps to violate our values. We are calling on the city to close this minimum wage loophole and enact a livable minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. We cannot allow multi-billion dollar corporations to profit off the labor of New York workers without paying them a fair rate,” said IDG founder Jim Conigliaro, Jr.

“We are making much less than we were just a few years ago — and companies like Uber and Lyft are pocketing more. To try to make up the difference, drivers are forced to work longer and longer hours, but we are still unable to make ends meet,” said app-based driver and IDG member Aziz Bah. “I am an immigrant from Senegal supporting my family, including two children. I came to this country to work hard and make a better life for my family, but now it seems like the promise and protections America is known for simply don’t apply to us.”

The city is required to respond to rule petitions within sixty days, either agreeing to grant the petition and initiate rulemaking by a specific date 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:

The IDG proposed rule includes:

1) A minimum pay rate that would raise wages by 37 percent for New York City app based drivers. This rate would apply across all platforms including Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via.

According to a 2017 survey, the average work day for drivers is more than 11 hours, which is 37 percent above 8 hours: the basic right of a maximum work day.  The Guild proposed a minimum pay scale based on a 37 percent increase over 2017 rates to promote safe driving and return driver compensation to be nearer the rates offered in the past. The Guild proposal also includes a premium pay rate for drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles to incentivize the transition to such vehicles and to offset the increased costs.

Here is a side by side comparison of a sample five mile, thirty minute ride in New York City in 2013, today and under the IDG’s proposal:


Driver Pay

Passenger Fare*







IDG Proposal



*Includes taxes and company fees
**Passenger fare is no longer bound to actual mileage or minutes traveled.

2) Prohibit price gouging. 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 prohibit Uber, Lyft and other companies from charging passengers more than 20 percent over what the worker is paid. This would prevent price gouging and return commissions to the rates riders and drivers agreed to previously.

3) Return trip to New York City pay (known in the industry as “deadhead pay”)—drivers must be paid for the trip back to New York City while no passenger is in the car. Failure to pay drivers for return trips is unfair and costly to workers and puts workers’ compensation insurance and other insurance coverage in jeopardy.

The IDG’s rule petition comes as New York lawmakers are considering numerous proposals to increase taxes and fees on the ride-hail industry in attempt to fund public transit, reduce congestion and update regulations. The IDG rule would prevent apps from passing those taxes and fees on to already struggling drivers, incentivize workers to operate wheelchair accessible vehicles, and reduce driver’s time on the road which would reduce congestion.

The IDG is also calling on New York lawmakers to limit the licensing of new for-hire vehicle drivers to address the glut of drivers, which has outpaced demand, led to an increase in unpaid down time, and contributed to congestion concerns. Limiting the number of drivers in a way that maintains quick response times but minimizes unpaid down time would allow existing drivers a better opportunity to make a living and right-size the fleet. The Guild opposes proposals to cap the number of for-hire vehicles because such a cap would cause vehicle and operation costs to skyrocket for workers.

In addition, the IDG is working to ensure members are protected by basic benefits. While the Guild opposes any new taxes that could further harm its members, if state lawmakers insist on a new rider surcharge, the Guild is demanding that it provide for a benefits fund for workers. Such a fund would give drivers access to benefits that would protect the public health and make our streets safer, such as paid sick leave, health, or vision plans.

“New York is positioned to lead the country and create a national model for fair working conditions for contractors, but there are only so many surcharges that can be put on the shoulders of our members and be supported.  Any new surcharge must provide benefits to workers,” said Ryan Price, IDG’s Executive Director.

Media Contact: press@drivingguild.org

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.