Active

End Predatory Leasing

While we support slowing the number of drivers entering the industry, limiting the number of vehicles on the street will lead to all new drivers being forced to lease, which will skyrocket the costs of leasing and vehicle costs as a whole. That is why the City Council agreed to regulate leasing companies.

While the bill to regulate leasing companies is proposed in City Council, our sources say it was written by the bosses of the industry. We have to demand a voice at the table, and we have to demand fairness. If we let up for one second, these companies will get away with anything they want.

In addition, the data the City Council has available that they are using to regulate leases and our pay is not based on reality. The recent Taxi and Limousine Commission study alleges that monthly vehicle leasing averages $635 per MONTH. We all know that right now, the lowest price you can get for an old Toyota Camry is $350 per WEEK.

We cannot allow leasing companies to exploit the vehicle cap to take advantage of our fellow drivers. We demand a fair limit to leasing prices. Sign this petition to demand a fair limit to leasing prices.

Jobs

TLC Universal License 24-Hour Course Instructor

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, two 12-hour days on Saturday and Sunday, or a sequence of weekday evenings.
• Attending staff meetings and participating in professional development
• Rapidly integrating feedback and new curriculum from classroom observations

Required Qualifications:
• 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

Preferred Qualifications
• 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, please complete the form here.

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

 

Event

City Council Bill Package

Come and support the City Council bills that will be voted on TOMORROW, August 8th!

The City Council will be voting on PAY REGULATION for FHV drivers and a temporary cap on new vehicles entering the industry. The IDG has been pushing for pay regulation since June 2016 and finally, the organizing, protests, and rallies are paying off!

Come out on Wednesday, August 8th at 10AM to show your support for these bills!

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

Active

Email the City Council to vote yes!

On August 8, the New York City Council will vote on what will be a huge win for IDG members. Now it’s time to cross the finish line. These bills will create a fair pay floor, and stop Uber and all the companies from over-hiring.

Email City Council Speader Corey Johnson and tell him why a pay raise is important to you.

To view how the pay floor will affect your pay, click here. If you have questions about the temporary vehicle cap, click here.

Event

August General Meeting

Come to the next IDG General Meeting to get excited about the City Council Meeting happening on Wednesday, August 8th. Because of all the organizing, protesting, calls, emails, lobby days, and POWER that IDG members showed – we will finally be able to pass laws that make the FHV industry better.

We will be discussing the pay floor and temporary FHV cap expected to be voted on at the City Council meeting on 8/8. Health fund and regulations to curb leasing company exploitation is expected to be proposed at that same meeting.

Please join us at this important meeting to discuss positive regulations that are being voted on next week! We need full support to get these to pass!

Free parking opens up at 7PM and there will be food available.

Active

Temporary Vehicle Cap Frequently Asked Questions

We wanted to answer some of the questions drivers have asked about Levin’s 144-B (the temporary vehicle cap):

How long will the cap be in effect and when will it go in effect?

The cap is a moratorium for 12 months and goes into effect the day the bill is signed into law. The bill is scheduled to be signed on Tuesday, August 14

Is this limiting vehicles or drivers? 

Vehicles. This is the license the moratorium effects:

 

The cap is on For-Hire Vehicle Licenses which are what give a vehicle owner the right to have a vehicle operate on the streets (like a medallion), not Universal Drivers Licenses. This is not a limit on TLC Drivers Licenses. The companies will continue to nonstop hire workers, though the hiring will likely slow, especially after four months or so. 

I currently own a TLC vehicle, can I replace it?

Yes. If you currently own a vehicle, you may replace it with another vehicle during the 12 month moratorium period. You may not have two TLC-plated vehicles, but you can retire your old vehicle as a TLC plated car.

I’m currently processing my TLC licensure for my vehicle, will I be able to license my car?

Yes. The City Council has promised us that if you are currently in the waiting period to acquire your FHV License, your application will be honored.

My leasing partner currently owns the FHV License, but I am in a Lease-To-Own agreement and will own it within a year. Will I be able to own and operate my vehicle?

Yes. If you entered into a Lease-To-Own agreement before the bill goes into effect and that agreement is longer than two years, if the FHV License is currently under the leasing company, you will be able to get a FHV license for the vehicle and own it.

Will the value and cost of vehicles increase under this bill?

Yes and no. Unlike a medallion, FHV Licenses are non-transferable and cannot be sold on a market, so there’s never going to be a FHV License being sold for $3 million. However, because Uber will continue getting new drivers to enter the market, there is going to be a lot of pressure for current vehicle owners to lease out their cars, and the cost of leasing will likely skyrocket. 

Is there any way I can buy a vehicle?

Yes. There are no limits on adding new Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, and keep in mind that pay for WAV drivers is going to be significantly higher with our pay regulation bill. You can enter in real mile and minute numbers from a previous trip and see how big the increase would be if you were operating a WAV at http://IDG.ms/testtrip

Does the IDG support this legislation?

Yes, but it isn’t exactly what we wanted. We wanted a driver cap to stop new drivers from entering the industry which would have been much more radical and would have forced wages up throughout the entire industry without any bad effects on drivers. But this vehicle cap does make it harder—though not impossible—for Uber to nonstop hire which is good as it will pressure the companies to treat and pay workers better. Along with the Fair Pay Floor legislation, which will increase driver pay when a company over hires and make it unprofitable for them to continue flooding the market, this is a one-two punch to make things better for us. 

But vehicle caps are problematic long term. The byproduct of the vehicle cap is that leasing costs will likely skyrocket if it stays in effect long term because all new drivers are effectively forced to lease or rent. However, this cap is only temporary, so we have a chance to work with the TLC to get vehicle limits, and regulations on companies like American Transit right over the next year. It is a good thing as a temporary measure.

Is there anything else about the bill package drivers should know?

The City Council is also voting on our pay regulation bill which we have been fighting for for two years. After the vote, we take the fight to the TLC to make sure it’s done right. You may test the TLC’s proposed raise here: http://IDG.ms/testtrip In addition, we are working with the City Council on rules to regulate and rein in leasing companies, that bill will be proposed on August 8, along with a health benefits fund.

In addition at the state level, we are continuing to work to expand the Black Car Fund to get them to provide disability insurance, paid time off, and other benefits.

It’s a new day in the fight for a fair industry.

Event

IDG General Meeting, August 7th

Come to the next IDG General Meeting to get excited about the City Council Meeting happening on Wednesday, August 8th. Because of all the organizing, protesting, calls, emails, lobby days, and POWER that IDG members showed – we will finally be able to pass laws that make the FHV industry better.

We will be talking about the bills being proposed at the City Council hearing happening on August 8th, including a cap on vehicles, a pay raise, and a fund for health care.

Please join us at this important meeting to discuss positive regulations that are being voted on next week! We need full support to get these to pass!

Free parking opens up at 7PM and there will be food available.

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/