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/

Press Releases

Unemployment Insurance Appeal Comment

Three Uber drivers were recently determined to employees and eligible for unemployment insurance through the New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

All workers deserve the social safety net of being able to provide for their families when not able to work. We expect it will continue to take years to get any final ruling on the classification of all of our members, and in the meantime drivers are struggling to survive. It’s crucial that the city and state act to extend the safety net to all drivers now, by becoming the first in the nation to protect drivers with a livable minimum pay rate and by building on our workers’ compensation and the landmark new telemedicine and vision benefits we just won. Whether courts rule our members as Independent Contractors or Employees, the IDG or the IAM will always be bringing app-based drivers together for fair pay and dignity on the job.

Education

CDL Career Opportunity Luncheon @ New England Motor Freight

Ready to trade your “gig” for a good full-time job?

Stop by New England Motor Freight from 10am-2pm on July 11th to learn about an exciting career opportunity as a union trucker, and get a free lunch! NEMF has paid training opportunities for the right candidate. In a few months, you could be on the road driving a local truck route making $20/hour, 40 hours/week, medical, dental, vision, and retirement benefits.

Extra support is available for women, veterans, and people under 25.

Interested? The first step is getting your Commercial Learners Permit by passing the written test at the DMV. We offer a test prep class together with the IAM union. Fill out this form to learn more about the class and application process.

This special opportunity is brought to you by the Independent Drivers Guild-IAMAW, IAMAW District 15, IAM CREST, and New England Motor Freight.

Active

Chicago Drivers Need a Voice at Work

In New York City, app-based drivers have come together with the Independent Drivers Guild to have a voice in the workplace. Since workers have come together, we have won:

We are quickly advancing toward a fair industry because of driver unity.

But Chicago is a different story. Uber, Lyft, and Via drivers in Chicago are some of the most underpaid app-based workers in the country. We have no protection from the constant, unrelenting exploitation and no voice with the people making the rules.

If you are ready to unite with your fellow drivers, please fill out this form and when we are ready, we’ll get started organizing.

Event

July 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:

All organizations attending will be offering free services to IDG members. Please feel free to bring your family, friends, and children to take advantage of this career advancement opportunity.

EVENT PARKING OPTIONS: From 5:00pm-7:00pm the neighborhood clears out in terms of street parking. From 7:00pm on 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.

Press Releases

NYC Report Explores First of Their Kind Pay Rules for Uber / Lyft Drivers

Proposal Follows A More than a Year Long Worker Campaign and Would Establish First Minimum Pay Rules for App-Based Drivers Who Lack Protection of a Minimum Wage

New York, NY — After more than a year long campaign by thousands of app-based drivers with the Independent Drivers Guild, New York City today is releasing a new report analyzing a proposal to establish a minimum pay rate for drivers. Below is a statement from the Guild:

“The new study confirms what we’ve been saying for some time – that drivers are in fact struggling and it’s time to act. New York must require exploitative companies like Uber and Lyft to pay a livable wage. The city must lead the way for a more fair industry on behalf of the more than 65,000 app-based drivers in our city as well as to set a precedent for those struggling all across the U.S.

We are continuing to analyze the potential proposal, but without a doubt establishing minimum pay rules that raise driver pay is the single most important step the city can take to help these struggling working families and we thank the city for listening to drivers and pursuing it. Most of all, we are proud and thankful for all the drivers who came together to fight for this critical action over the course of a more than year long campaign”

– Jim Conigliaro, Jr., Founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City

Timeline of IDG’s Campaign for Livable Pay Rules for App-Based Drivers

Thousands of drivers who make up the Independent Drivers Guild have spent more than a year campaigning for livable wage rules in New York City. From the Guild’s first letter to the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on the subject in June of 2016 to gathering more than 16,000 for-hire vehicle driver signatures on the Guild’s petition in 2017 and 2018. The city responded in May to IDG’s formal rulemaking petition stating it plans to put forward rules this summer. Here is a timeline of the Guild’s campaign.

June – July 2016

The IDG formally raised the issue of fare regulation to the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in June 2016 when the TLC proposed limiting the number of hours drivers could work. After polling drivers on the proposed 12 hour rule, the IDG argued that before limiting work hours, there must first be pay protection rules in place to ensure drivers could make a living.

Shortly after the IDG’s May launch, we sent a letter to TLC President Meera Joshi on June 23, 2016 in opposition to the proposed rule to limit driver hours without taking measures to maintain driver pay. In July 2016, the IDG also submitted the signatures of 615 drivers who signed on to the letter calling for a livable pay floor before capping driver hours. The IDG reinforced this position to the TLC when they attended an IDG meeting with drivers at IDG offices (in late 2016).

Fall 2016

The IDG worked with the TLC to provide solutions to improve driver pay. IDG made members available for interview with the TLC to discuss their earnings, expenses and their daily struggles to make ends meet. IDG gave suggestions for survey questions the TLC should consider.

December 2016

The first TLC survey on driver pay was launched.

February 2017

The IDG discussed the need for livable wage rules in letter and petition to TLC on tipping

April 2017

IDG drivers sent 1,500 emails on the IDG platform to TLC in April and made hundreds of calls to TLC on fair pay agenda.

IDG called for a transparent mile and minute pay protected from commission and other charges at a TLC hearing attended by 60 drivers.

The IDG released its pay survey data and demands (Press release).

The TLC responded in favor of IDG’s tipping petition and also noted their agreement with the IDG’s call for livable wage rules.

The NYT Editorial Board sited IDG stats on pay.

May 2017

IDG launched a pay petition and spent the next several months gathering signatures.

Summer and Fall 2017

IDG continued to collect driver data on pay and conducted research to support pay rules.

November 2017

IDG released formal pay proposal, a 19 page report, with the support of 8,000 drivers signatures.

February 2018

IDG member Doug Schifter took his own life in front of City Hall. While Schifter was neither the first, nor the last driver to die by suicide as a result of economic hardship, it was the first to garner widespread media attention.

After more than a year of discussion and research, the IDG launched a formal rulemaking petition to put pressure on the TLC for timely action.

March 2018

IDG President Jim Conigliaro, Jr. published an op-ed in Crains pleading with the industry to stop scapegoating drivers for New York’s transportation problems.

The IDG released an explainer on why capping the number of TLC licenses is a labor-friendly alternative to the proposed cap on vehicles.

April – May 2018

300 FHV drivers rallied outside city hall, including staging a rush hour funeral caravan over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall to call for fair pay and protest the punitive Diaz Bill (Intro 838-a). Driver-activists called for pay protections instead of a law that would drive them deeper into poverty.

The IDG launched digital ad campaign reinforcing their opposition of Intro 838-a and demands for pay protections.

IDG member and allies flyered City Hall and sent nearly 4,000 phone calls and emails to the TLC in opposition of the Diaz Bill and continue to demand driver pay reform.

FHV driver and IDG Steward Aziz Bah published an op-ed in the New York Daily News describing his financial struggles and the need for better pay.

IDG announces support of labor and community leaders for livable wage rules for app-based drivers.

May 2018

The TLC responded to the IDG pay petition and stated they plan to put forward pay proposal in two months.

The New York Times and New York Daily News editorialize in favor of establishing a regulated livable wage for drivers and a cap on app fees.

June 2018

IDG members and allies made more than 200 calls to City Council in 36 hours in a continued effort to demand fair pay and an end to the Diaz bill. To make an even more direct case, they held a lobby day and a flyer Day in City Council district offices to address City Council members and staff in person.

See the timeline here

The Independent Drivers Guild is an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City. We are Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Via drivers united for a fair for-hire vehicle industry.

Media contact: [email protected]
703-416-9188

Event

IDG Meeting To Discuss TLC’s Proposed Pay Raise

Press Releases

New York Launches First Health Benefits Plan for App-Based and Other For-Hire Drivers

New York’s Black Car Fund launches vision and telemedical benefits for drivers

New York, NY– The Black Car Fund, the nation’s first fully self-funded, self-insured and self-administered non-profit workers’ compensation provider – formed by New York State statute nearly 20 years ago – will now be the first in the nation to provide professional drivers with vision and telemedicine benefits. Developed in coordination with the Independent Drivers Guild, the new benefits plan will cover more than 42,000 app-based and black car drivers and will be funded by the longstanding 2.5 percent Black Car Fund rider surcharge.

Working with the Independent Drivers Guild, the Black Car Fund will offer these new benefits beginning July 1, 2018. Uber will be assisting with outreach efforts. The groups also reached out to Lyft, Via and other app-based services for assistance, and are awaiting response. The benefits will cover for-hire drivers in New York State who qualify by driving a minimum number of hours per month, including workers driving for all app-based car service companies.

“When the Black Car Fund first started its benefits programs, it was ahead of its time; now it’s 2018 and it’s time to implement concrete solutions as the national gig-economy grows. Providing telemedicine and vision benefits will make drivers healthier, safer, and happier—and in turn, be a model for the rest of the country. This is the direction the industry must go for the betterment of for-hire drivers,” said Ira Goldstein, Executive Director of the Black Car Fund.

“This is a proud moment for our Guild and a huge step toward a more fair industry,” said Jim Conigliaro, Jr., founder of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 65,000 app-based drivers in New York City. “New York’s for-hire vehicle drivers are being crushed under the weight of sub minimum wage pay and have no access to the social safety net and benefits most workers take for granted. While we continue our fight for livable pay, we are pleased that drivers who need glasses will finally be able to get them along with 24/7 access to a doctor, all at no cost.”

“These new benefits are a much-needed breakthrough for drivers for apps like Uber and Lyft and we hope to both expand on these benefits in New York and help workers across the U.S. to win similar gains,” saidAndrew Greenblatt of IDG Benefits Fund, the Guild’s sister organization that provides benefits and health screenings to drivers.

“It’s fair to say that the workers’ compensation industry has been watching the approach of the NY Black Car Fund for some time. Its innovative approach to addressing a gap in workers’ compensation coverage has far-reaching possibilities as we see economic shifts change the way we work. The NY Black Car Fund will be speaking at the IAIABC’s upcoming 104th Convention, and we look forward to hearing how they continue to adapt their model to meet the needs of workers,” said Heather Lore, senior manager of membership and communications at the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions.

“With the rapid growth of for-hire car service companies and their independent workforce, the Black Car Fund feels a responsibility to ensure a new population of drivers are healthy and safe. We are proud that we can offer these new benefits at no new cost to the public, to help drivers and make the streets safer for everyone,” said Berj Haroutunian, Executive Chairman of the Black Car Fund.

“Money is tight– I can’t afford the time off or expense of doctor’s visits, but for my child, doctor’s visits are not optional. So I find myself making trade-offs on which bill I will have to skip paying that month,” said Independent Drivers Guild member Tina Raveneau, a single mom who drives for Uber and Lyft. “Getting those school year sick visits done for free over video chat is going to save me a bundle, get my child seen more quickly, and alleviate a huge stress of parenting in this industry.”

New Benefits

Driver Telemedicine Benefit
Driver Optical Plan

About the Black Car Fund

The New York Black Car Operators’ Injury Compensation Fund, otherwise known as The Black Car Fund, The Fund, or BCF, was created for the purpose of providing workers’ compensation coverage to Black Car Operators in the State of New York. The BCF was formed by state statute in 1999, and began issuing coverage in 2000.

BCF has approximately 365 Member Bases throughout the State of New York and provides coverage to approximately 125,000 Drivers. The Black Car Fund is funded entirely by passengers in the form of a 2.5% surcharge per ride.

News

Timeline of FHV Drivers’ Struggle for Fair Pay

Timeline of IDG’s campaign for a regulated minimum pay rate and a cap on new TLC drivers

June-July 2016

The IDG formally raised the issue of fare regulation to the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) when the TLC proposed limiting the number of hours drivers could work. After polling drivers on the proposed 12 hour rule, the IDG argued that before limiting work hours, there must first be pay protection rules in place to ensure drivers could make a living.

Shortly after the IDG’s May launch, we sent a letter to TLC President Meera Joshi on June 23, 2016 in opposition to the proposed rule to limit driver hours without taking measures to maintain driver pay. In July 2016, the IDG also submitted the signatures of 615 drivers who signed on to the letter calling for a livable pay floor before capping driver hours. The IDG reinforced this position to the TLC when they attended an IDG meeting with drivers at IDG offices (in late 2016).

Fall 2016

The IDG worked with the TLC to provide solutions to improve driver pay. IDG made members available for interview with the TLC to discuss their earnings, expenses and their daily struggles to make ends meet. IDG gave suggestions for survey questions the TLC should consider.

December 2016

The first TLC survey on driver pay was launched.

February 2017

The IDG discussed the need for livable wage rules in letter and petition to TLC on tipping

April 2017

IDG drivers sent 1,500 emails on the IDG platform to TLC in April and made hundreds of calls to TLC on fair pay agenda:

IDG called for transparent mile and minute pay protected from commission and other charges at a TLC hearing attended by 60 drivers.

The IDG released its pay survey data and demands

Press release

The TLC responded in favor of IDG’s tipping petition and also noted their agreement with the IDG’s call for livable wage rules.

The NYT Editorial Board cited IDG stats on pay.

May 2017

IDG launched a pay petition and spent the next several months gathering signatures.

Summer and Fall 2017

IDG continued to collect driver data on pay and conducted research to support pay rules.

November 2017

IDG released formal pay proposal with the support of 8,000 drivers signatures.

February 2018

IDG member Doug Schifter took his own life in front of City Hall. While Schifter was neither the first, nor the last driver to die by suicide as a result of economic hardship, it was the first to garner widespread media attention.

After more than a year of discussion and research, the IDG launched a formal rulemaking petition to put pressure on the TLC for timely action.

March 2018

IDG President Jim Conigliaro, Jr. published an op-ed in Crains pleading with the industry to stop scapegoating drivers for New York’s transportation problems.

The IDG released an explainer on why capping the number of TLC licenses is a labor-friendly alternative to the proposed cap on vehicles.

April – May 2018

300 FHV drivers staged a funeral caravan over Brooklyn Bridge on the way to City Hall to protest the punitive Diaz Bill (Intro 838-a). Driver-activists called for pay protections instead of a law that would drive them deeper into poverty.

The IDG launched digital ad campaign reinforcing their opposition of Intro 838-a and demands for pay protections.

IDG member and allies flyered City Hall and sent nearly 4,000 phone calls and emails to the TLC in opposition of the Diaz Bill and continue to demand driver pay reform.

FHV driver and IDG Steward Aziz Bah published an op-ed in the New York Daily News describing his financial struggles and the need for better pay.

May 2018

The TLC responded to the IDG pay petition and stated they plan to put forward pay proposal in two months.

The New York Times and New York Daily News editorialize in favor of establishing a regulated livable wage for drivers and a cap on app fees.

June 2018

IDG members and allies made more than 200 calls to City Council in 36 hours in a continued effort to demand fair pay and an end to the Diaz bill. To make an even more direct case, they held a lobby day and a flyer Day in City Council district offices to address City Council members and staff in person.

July 2018

Taxi and Limousine released their proposed rules in reaction to our demands which would effectively create a 22% raise for 85% of IDG members.

August 2018

After months of IDG rallies and lobby days, the city council passed and Mayor de Blasio signed legislation sponsored by Councilman Brad Lander requiring the Taxi and Limousine Commission to set minimum payments for drivers for high volume app-based for-hire vehicle services like Uber and Lyft.


October 2018

The TLC held a hearing on rules to set the nation’s first pay floor for Uber and Lyft drivers after years-long driver campaign. More than 100 IDG members attend the hearing, packing the room in red shirts, to urge the TLC to raise the pay floor further, add out of town trip pay, and then quickly pass the rules. The IDG provided the TLC with a new report of vehicle expense data from more than 500 drivers to prove that expenses are significantly higher than the Commission’s original assumptions.

November 30, 2018

The TLC posts final proposed rules on FHV pay and announces the vote will be on 12/4.
What’s new: