By Aaron Smith
After years of organizing and fighting, IDG drivers won a living wage earlier this year. But before we could even celebrate our victory, Lyft sued to take it away. We have 737 million reasons not to let that happen.
The hard-won pay victory means that since February 1st, 2019 every New York Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno driver must finally be paid a fair baseline wage. This amounts to a pay raise of about $9,600 for each driver, annually – a total of $737 million for working New Yorkers. We aren’t just going to give up this landmark win.
On March 18th, Lyft argued before a judge that they should be able to take away our pay raise. Lyft argued that paying drivers a fair wage would hurt business, but the reality is that Lyft’s greed is hurting business. Lyft continues to tack on massive commissions, often taking over 40% of the fare. Meanwhile, the city’s analysis found that “the app industry’s commission rates could be as low as six to seven percent and still remain profitable.”
At the same time that Lyft is being valued at $23 billion by investment bankers, the company’s refusal to support the drivers who helped it reach such dizzying heights is outrageous. They are happy to build their profits off of those struggling to make ends meet in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. That’s why IDG drivers showed up in front of the New York Supreme Court; we held Lyft accountable.
The judge blocked Lyft’s attempt to temporarily stop the raise – for now – but she still has to rule on Lyft’s motion to overturn the rules and kill our raise.
We need you to stay with us in this fight so we can make sure our drivers keep the raise they won. Please sign up for text updates on our fight against the Lyft lawsuit at: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/stay-up-to-date-on-lyfts-lawsuit/. Together we won fair pay. Now, together, we must fight to keep it.
Aaron Smith is Organizing Director of the Independent Drivers Guild.