“Stop leading a race to the bottom.”
That’s what New York City ride hail driver Ibraheem Ibraheem told Uber just over one year ago when drivers sat down face to face with Uber for the first time. That was the company’s first meeting with the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate representing and advocating for New York City’s ride-hail drivers.
Since then, the Guild has achieved numerous hard fought victories for drivers, from the ability to opt out of UberPOOL and X to slight pay increases. We gained national attention for winning a tipping option in the Uber app and the first-ever law requiring a tipping option for all black cars. IDG members called and emailed officials, distributed flyers, gathered petition signatures and flooded TLC hearings to achieve this victory.
Already, Uber has added a tipping option and Juno changed their app to make tipping an option on all rides, instead of just those where riders gave a five-star rating. By November 8, all companies must offer a tipping option, including a 20% option if they wish to operate in our city. The work of Guild members is having a major impact that could put an extra $300 million in the pockets of New York City drivers next year alone.
To keep the wins coming, we need your help. Drivers are facing threats from many directions, from police taking advantage of immigrant workers and a City Council bill to more severely punish drivers for private clients, to a wheel chair accessibility proposal that would drastically slash driver earnings.
We can fight these threats and offer better solutions if we work together. But we must move forward to win a more fair industry, not just defend. That’s why we’re pushing for a living wage, and we need drivers to participate in our survey so we can prove our case. The Taxi and Limousine Commission has agreed with IDG members that we need pay protections – but TLC won’t act until they get more data and a strong organized group pushes the conversation.
Working together, we can build a fair industry and end the race to the bottom once and for all. Help us research the economics of the industry, and get involved by taking our survey at IDG.ms/PaySurvey.
Ryan Price is Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate representing 50,000 app-based drivers, and “uniting workers for a fair industry.”