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 or text DRIVE to 64336 to learn more (msg and data rates may apply).

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