Press Releases

Statement on Juno adding tipping to app

 

Statement from Jim Conigliaro, Jr, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild on the news that Juno added tipping to their app:

Making tipping easy for passengers and drivers is a no brainer. It is an affront to the drivers who helped make millions of dollars for the app, that Uber executives continue to drag their feet on tipping. It’s time for Uber to join the rest of the industry and bring the tipping option to the app.

Uber has been stubbornly unwilling to give our riders an easy option to tip. As a result, New York’s working drivers are losing thousands of dollars they need for vehicle upkeep and supporting their families in one of the most expensive cities in America.

Uber makes the problem worse by misleading riders, telling them that “tips are not expected.”

To make this clear: tips are not included in the fare.

It’s clear to us that passengers and drivers alike must mobilize to win this basic right for service economy workers–and get Uber to add an easy tipping option. We urge passengers to join us by signing our petition.

While this is an important step for Juno, we urge the company to go further and give their drivers the basic protections they are asking for, like a seat at the table with management and the right to appeal deactivation.

We are committed to continuing the fight for policies that help working drivers make a fair living, while continuing to provide reliable and affordable rides.

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is an affiliate of the Machinists Union (IAMAW – District 15) and represents more than 35,000 Uber drivers in New York City. The labor organization was the first to negotiate on behalf of Uber drivers, giving them a seat at the table with management to advocate for better earnings and workplace policies – as well as access to critical protections and discounted benefits.  For twenty years, IAM District 15 has been a leading advocate for drivers in New York City, and to date is the only group to have successfully represented black car drivers. The Uber-IAM agreement will ensure drivers using Uber have a higher standard of protections and support than other independent contractors.

Press Releases

NY Uber Drivers Launch Ads in Tipping Campaign

The Independent Drivers Guild Ad Campaign Calls On Uber to Offer In-App Tipping Option as Thousands Sign Petition

New York, NY –The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) added yet another layer to their campaign urging Uber to create an in-app tipping option. The IDG, an affiliate of the Machinists Union (IAMAW – District 15) that represents more than 35,000 Uber drivers, is running a digital advertising campaign to put more pressure on Uber to make tipping easier for Uber passengers by creating the in-app function. The digital ad campaign is aimed at drivers and passengers alike and includes ads on major social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit as well as search engine advertising geared to those who search for Uber and related keywords.

The digital advertising campaign is just the latest tactic deployed by IDG drivers this summer. Just a few weeks ago, the IDG launched a petition that has already amassed more than 7,500 signatures calling on Uber to add a tipping function. The guild has been busy raising public awareness about tipping by distributing free stickers to drivers to let passengers know tips are appreciated. Drivers are also conducting community outreach, including distributing bar napkins at establishments popular with Uber passengers.  

“Both passengers and drivers want tipping to be as easy as possible. We are urging passengers to stand with drivers and call on Uber to offer an in-app tipping option,” said Jim Conigliaro, Jr, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild.

The Guild launched the campaign earlier this summer after tipping was named the top issue of concern in a survey of its membership.

“Tips are for great service. If you go get a haircut or a car wash – you tip, it’s an American tradition,” said Uber driver and IDG member Mario Sariors of Queens, NY. “For me, I use my tips for food, gas, and to get my car washed. And most importantly, it makes me feel good that I was rewarded for providing exceptional service. It’s easy to tip for everyone else, why not drivers?”

Further background

Uber passengers pay for their rides through an app, not through cash, but currently the app does not allow passengers the option to tip their drivers. While Uber competitors, including other apps and taxis, give passengers the flexibility to tip in the app or on their credit card payment screen, Uber does not. This has led to fewer tips and confusion for passengers, some of whom have told drivers that they weren’t sure if tipping was permitted — or already included in the fare.

Other passengers tell drivers they wish they could tip in the app. In-app tipping makes tipping faster and easier for passengers. Part of Uber’s appeal is the ability to pay without spending time on a cash or credit card transaction in the vehicle and many passengers apologetically tell drivers that they can’t tip because they don’t have cash.

“With the Guild providing workers a direct line to Uber management, drivers can create real change that puts more dollars in their pockets. Making tipping easier is one way we can do that,” added Conigliaro, Jr. “We are committed to continuing the fight for policies that help Uber drivers make a fair living, while continuing to provide reliable and affordable rides.”

Since the launch of the Independent Drivers Guild in May, the guild has taken a number of steps to stand up for drivers. The IDG has helped drivers bring concerns about deactivation to Uber’s attention and has helped get drivers reinstated. Additionally, the IDG has raised concerns about driver support from Uber management, including an inability to get support personnel on the phone in a timely manner. As a result, Uber has taken steps and made commitments to improve communications. The Guild also offers discounts for drivers on insurance and other important services.

All New York City Uber drivers are represented by the IDG and can receive tipping stickers as well as access to expert deactivation representation and discounts on important benefits, including insurance and roadside assistance. Drivers who wish to learn more about the IDG can visit DrivingGuild.org or text DRIVE to 64336 to learn more (msg and data rates may apply).

Follow us on Twitter @drivingguild
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News

Uber drivers go to war against self-driving cars

MarketWatch | Caitlin Huston

While Uber Technologies Inc. sees the launch of its self-driving car program as a step forward in transportation, its drivers are not so sure.

Uber announced Wednesday that it had begun a pilot program of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh for select passengers. Right now, the driverless cars come with a human engineer who intervenes when necessary, but drivers fear a future in which they will be entirely replaced by software and sensors.

Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, which represents 35,000 Uber drivers in the New York City area, said he found the launch “concerning” particularly because Uber has been working with regulators to allow ride-hailing in cities on the premise that it brings jobs to the community.

“We don’t expect Uber to move to driverless cars in New York City anytime soon, but they can expect we would launch an aggressive campaign, the likes of which they have yet to see, to halt such a move,” Conigliaro Jr. said in an email.

Conigliaro added that New York City currently bans driverless cars and his group would “aggressively fight” to keep those laws in place. New York law stipulates that drivers must have one hand on the steering wheel at all time, a stronger standard than other states.

Read the full article here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uber-drivers-wont-accept-autonomous-cars-without-a-fight-2016-09-15

News

Uber drivers call for in-app tipping option in online petition

AMNY | Vin Barone

The group representing Uber drivers in New York City has launched a petition calling for the e-hail company to offer in-app tipping.

The online petition, launched Thursday by the Independent Drivers Guild, quickly surpased 1,000 signatures from the city’s pool of about 35,000 Uber drivers.

The guild hopes to put pressure on Uber to add a tip feature to its app as part of a larger public awareness campaign to remind customers that tips aren’t factored into drivers’ pay.

“In-app tipping would be a clear path to put thousands of dollars back into drivers’ pockets,” said Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the guild, a joint project between the Machinists Union and independent Uber drivers. “Drivers in the industry—especially drivers in the industry before Uber—derived a lot of income from tips.

“Taxi drivers have always been tipped at the end of ride,” he continued. “Black car companies typically would include tips as extra line item in their vouchers—it’s always been a part of the for-hire vehicle industry.”

The guild will be rallying over the next month, handing out flyers and distributing bar napkins with text declaring that Uber customers should be able to tip their drivers as easily as they could tip their bartenders.
Read the full article here: http://www.amny.com/transit/uber-drivers-call-for-in-app-tipping-option-in-online-petition-1.12165291

News

Making the Sharing Economy Work for Workers

Wall Street Journal | Letter

In “Democrats vs. Democrats on the Sharing Economy” (op-ed, July 29), Allysia Finley reveals a total lack of understanding of how young adults view Uber and the gig economy. Millennials are intelligent enough to both appreciate the opportunities of the sharing economy and to aspire to make this new economy work better for workers. Young and old alike can enjoy the benefits of Uber while also wishing for its drivers to have basic protections.

For too long Uber drivers were without a voice, without a seat at the table, without protections. As the founder of the first union-affiliated organization for Uber drivers, I am proud of our work to advocate for New York City’s 35,000 Uber drivers and we stand ready to support Uber drivers struggling for better working conditions everywhere. Unions have a sacred history of standing by America’s workers and as the job landscape shifts we must remain active and engaged so that no segment of our workforce is left without a voice.

James Conigliaro Jr.

Independent Drivers Guild

New York

Press Releases

NY Uber Drivers Launch Tipping Campaign

The Independent Drivers Guild Calls On Uber to Offer In-App Tipping Option; Launches Passenger Awareness Campaign

New York, NY — Today, the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is launching a new campaign to urge Uber to make tipping easier for Uber passengers by creating an in-app tipping option. The IDG is an affiliate of the Machinists Union (IAMAW – District 15) and represents more than 35,000 Uber drivers serving New York City. The labor group surveyed its membership and the lack of an in-app tipping function was the top issue of concern that drivers wished to bring to Uber management at their monthly meeting.

The IDG will also launch a campaign to raise passenger awareness about tipping Uber drivers. The Guild will make stickers available, free of cost, to all drivers to post in their vehicles to let New York City’s Uber passengers know that tips for good service are appreciated.

“Passengers and drivers alike want tipping to be as easy as possible. It’s time for Uber to offer passengers an in-app tipping option,” said Jim Conigliaro, Jr, founder of the Independent Drivers Guild.

“Many passengers are unaware that tipping Uber drivers is permitted or expected. With these stickers, we hope to clarify that tips for good service are allowed and appreciated,” said Uber driver Ronny Paulino. “Tipping makes a huge difference for drivers. When I drove for a service that allowed in-app tipping, those tips were enough to pay my family’s grocery bill for the week.”

Uber passengers pay for their rides through an app, not through cash, but currently the app does not allow passengers the option to tip their drivers. While Uber competitors, including other apps and taxis, give passengers the flexibility to tip in the app or on their credit card payment screen, Uber does not. This has led to fewer tips and confusion for passengers, some of whom have told drivers that they weren’t sure if tipping was permitted — or already included in the fare.

Other passengers tell drivers they wish they could tip in the app. In-app tipping makes tipping faster and easier for passengers. Part of Uber’s appeal is the ability to pay without spending time on a cash or credit card transaction in the vehicle and many passengers apologetically tell drivers that they can’t tip because they don’t have cash.

“With the Guild providing workers a direct line to Uber management, drivers can create real change that puts more dollars in their pockets. Making tipping easier is one way we can do that,” added Conigliaro, Jr. “We are committed to continuing the fight for policies that help Uber drivers make a fair living, while continuing to provide reliable and affordable rides.”

As part of the tipping campaign, the Guild will do community outreach as well as launch a petition and social media campaign this summer to show Uber there is both passenger and driver support for an in-app tipping function.

Since the launch of the Independent Drivers Guild in May, the Guild has taken a number of steps to stand up for drivers. The IDG has helped drivers bring concerns about deactivation to Uber’s attention. Simply by flagging deactivation concerns for Uber, the IDG has helped get drivers reinstated and will help more appeal their deactivations at the first hearing scheduled for late July. Additionally, the IDG has raised concerns about driver support from Uber management, including an inability to get support personnel on the phone in a timely manner. As a result, Uber has taken steps and made commitments to improve communications.

All New York City Uber drivers are represented by the IDG and can receive tipping stickers as well as access to expert deactivation representation and discounts on important benefits, including insurance and roadside assistance. Drivers who wish to learn more about the IDG can visit DrivingGuild.org or text DRIVE to 64336 to learn more (msg and data rates may apply).

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News

NYC drivers’ group calls on Uber to make tipping easier

New York Daily News | Dan Rivoli

Uber is getting a tip from its drivers’ group: Make it easier for passengers to tip.

The Independent Drivers Guild, which represents Uber’s 35,000 drivers in the city, is calling on the famously anti-tipping e-hail company to let passengers pay a gratuity through the company’s app instead of digging for cash at the end of a trip.

In the meantime, the guild is helping drivers get the word out that it’s OK to pay extra for good service by providing stickers that say, “Tips for service are appreciated!”

The guild is also launching a social media campaign and petition drive to show Uber that passengers will still use the service even if tipping becomes a part of the experience, said Jim Conigliaro, founder of the guild, which was created in May.

Read the full article here:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-drivers-group-calls-uber-tipping-easier-article-1.2706697

News

Uber recognizes first drivers association in New York City

Washington Post | Fredrick Kunkle

Uber has given its blessing to a New York City drivers organization that formed as an affiliate with an established union.

The Independent Driver’s Guild launched Tuesday in partnership with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 15 in what appears to be a significant development in the six-year struggle between the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company and tens of thousands of its drivers.

The new Independent Drivers Guild, which claims an estimated 35,000 members in New York City, will give all current and future Uber drivers there a regular forum to discuss workplace issues, offer benefits such as discounted legal services, roadside assistance and life insurance, and provide an avenue to air grievances or appeal deactivation, according to a statement issued by the Machinists and Uber.

Read the full article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/tripping/wp/2016/05/10/uber-recognizes-first-drivers-association-in-new-york-city/?utm_term=.9bb8c43ea39e

News | Uncategorized

Uber recognizes guild for New York City drivers

http://www.fox5ny.com/your-money/139582560-story

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

News

Uber Agrees to Work With a Guild for Its Drivers in New York City

Wall Street Journal | Douglas MacMillan

After tangling with drivers in the courtroom and on the streets, Uber Technologies Inc. is softening its stance and giving some of them a seat at the table.

The largest ride-hailing company on Tuesday said it has agreed to work closely with a group of its drivers in New York City to give them a voice on issues such as fare changes and driver deactivations.

The drivers group hopes to create a fund to offer benefits such as paid time off and retirement savings accounts to as many as 35,000 drivers in the city, many who work full-time schedules for Uber.

The labor agreement is a conciliatory move for Uber, which has been working in recent weeks to quell unrest rippling across its army of one million drivers. Hundreds of drivers gathered at the company’s New York offices in February to protest rate reductions that have made it harder for many of them to rely on Uber as a primary source of income.

New York’s Independent Drivers Guild may represent a first step toward giving drivers a voice in the ride-hailing business. Its members will be invited to regular meetings with Uber management to raise their concerns. And they will be eligible to receive discounts on life insurance, roadside assistance and other benefits covered by the guild’s administration costs, which Uber will help to fund.

“No topic is off the table for discussion and the guild will aggressively pursue any number of ways to increase drivers earnings, benefits and protections,” said Jim Conigliaro Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild.

Read the full article here:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-agrees-to-work-with-a-guild-for-its-drivers-in-new-york-city-1462913669