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Lyft caves on minimum-wage rules

As featured in Crains New York

Mounting pressure from drivers forces company’s hand

By: Matthew Flamm

Lyft, the San Francisco-based ride-hail service, is learning the hard way that you can’t fight City Hall.

The company announced Wednesday that it would begin paying drivers according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s new minimum-wage regulations that it sought to block with a lawsuit only last week.

The suit against the TLC, filed in New York state Supreme Court, failed to obtain an injunction. But in a motion posted Friday morning, Judge Andrea Masley told the company it could pay drivers according to its own rate card and put the raise in escrow while the suit was pending. The next court date is March 18.

That solution quickly proved unworkable as driver protests mounted and Lyft rivals Uber and Via agreed to raise their drivers’ pay immediately.

The new rules require that drivers earn an hourly minimum of $27.86, which comes to $17.22 after expenses (the equivalent of a $15 minimum wage, factoring in payroll taxes and paid leave), with the pay calculated on a per-trip basis. The raise averages out to about $9,600 a year.

By late Friday, Lyft had announced it would pay drivers the amount required by the TLC rather than put money into escrow, but the raise would be distributed over the course of a week. That would allow the company to charge less for rides during periods of low demand and add incentives to keep drivers on the road when demand picked up.

The problem with that approach was that drivers felt they were being shortchanged, because the incentives were considered part of their pay, not an addition to their minimum, as was intended under the rules.

The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents app-based drivers and has led the campaign for a raise, launched a petition demanding that Lyft and Juno—which also sued the TLC—follow the new rules. It collected more than 2,500 signatures.

Lyft told the group on Wednesday that it would pay drivers any back pay they are owed dating to Feb. 1, the day the rules took effect. Juno has not responded to requests for comment.

For the complete article, please visit:  https://www.crainsnewyork.com/transportation/lyft-caves-minimum-wage-rules


Education Program Coordinator- Part-time

The Independent Drivers Guild-IAMAW seeks a part-time Program Coordinator for education programs for for-hire vehicle drivers. This position will be a member of a team that runs a schedule of classes and educational programming for drivers. The Program Coordinator will be responsible for administration of one three-day course per week with hours of 8am-2pm Saturday,  Sunday, and potentially Thursday and Friday. Duties may include printing course materials, sending out reminders to students, responding to phone and email inquiries, preparing the classroom before classes, coordinating food orders for classes, welcoming students, entering attendance records and other data for grant requirements, staffing a welcome desk during classes, updating the website, and other tasks as assigned in collaboration with other staff. The Program Coordinator will also devote 4-8 hours per week to one-on-one counseling sessions with drivers helping them developing education goals and plans.

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is a nonprofit affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) bringing together app-based drivers in New York City to win better pay, benefits, and dignity on the job. Since our launch in 2016, our campaigns have put millions of dollars in drivers pockets, first through a campaign that established the right to be able to accept tips through apps, and then through landmark regulations that have won an average 44% pay increase and established the first-ever pay floor in the industry. Our education programs seek to empower drivers with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed on the job– and transform the industry through collective action.

The Program Coordinator will play a crucial role in the success of education programs. The role will be part-time and will be based out of our Brooklyn offices near the Morgan Ave L until our new space opens in the Bronx.

Responsibilities are as follows:



Women, people of color, immigrants, LGTBQIA, people with disabilities, workers fired for union activity, and others facing discrimination in the labor market particularly encouraged to apply. Please send a cover letter and CV or resume to Education Director Erik Forman ([email protected].) If you speak languages other than English please be sure to include this.

Looking to fill position ASAP.


Tell Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via to follow the rules and raise driver pay

After years of fighting for a living minimum wage, IDG drivers won a nearly $10,000 annual raise. The TLC agreed these companies can’t continue to get richer while drivers struggle to get by. But just two days before our long overdue pay raise, Lyft and Juno sued to say they just can’t afford it.


This attack on working New Yorkers is unacceptable. Together, we will fight this injustice and expose your greed and malicious indifference to the needs of those who make your company a success. Stop this lawsuit, implement the pay raise, and respect the drivers who are making you rich.




New Benefits

Learn today if you’re eligible for new and free benefits through Drivers Benefits by filling out the online eligibility form here. You can also call the Drivers Benefits hotline at 833-814-8590.

What are the benefits?

Drivers vision: Free eye exam and glasses benefit paid for by The Black Car Fund.

Drivers Telemedicine: Call a doctor for a consultation any time, day or night, paid for by The Black Car Fund. Free translators in your native language can be provided on request. 

Click here to learn more about the benefits that are available.


Deactivated? Uber Drivers Can Take This Free Class To Get Back On The App

Deactivated? Worried that low ratings are threatening your livelihood? Many riders have no idea that a rating as high as 4.6 out of 5 stars can be a fireable offense on the Uber app. The Independent Drivers Guild has a free class to help you boost your ratings and get you back on the app. ABC7 came out to check out our class – get a behind the scenes look here:

You can read more about IDG’s classes at https://drivingguild.org/upcoming-classes/


Tell Albany That App-Based Drivers and Riders Cannot Afford Another Tax


January General Meeting