Uber and Lyft Drivers Call on City Officials to Pass Historic Legislation

Uber and Lyft Drivers Call on City Officials to Pass Historic Legislation

IDG to City Council: “Be on the right side of history”

New York, NY — After a two year campaign by the Independent Drivers Guild, New York City officials will vote Wednesday on legislation to close the minimum wage loophole for companies like Uber and Lyft and establish the nation’s first minimum pay rate for app-based drivers. The IDG is calling on City Council to pass the fair pay bill and the full package of FHV legislation up for a vote on Wednesday, including the temporary cap on vehicles.

The Independent Drivers Guild, an affiliate of the Machinists Union, represents and advocates for more than 65,000 professional drivers for apps like Uber, Lyft, Via and Juno in New York City. Nearly 90 percent of IDG members drive for apps as their main source of income and nine in ten drivers are immigrants. IDG officials and drivers are available for interview, including at City Hall on Wednesday. Contact: press@drivingguild.org

“Thousands of working families across the city right now are desperate. Professional drivers are being paid less than minimum wage by apps like Uber and Lyft, while the companies take more and more from each fare. This vote is an opportunity for New York to be on the right side of history and lead the way for a more fair ride-hail industry. City Council must send a clear message to these companies: if you want to operate in our city, you must pay workers fairly,” said Ryan Price, Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “Drivers have fought long and hard to get this point. Now it’s time for City Council to do its part.”

In the two years since the Independent Drivers Guild first called on the city to establish a pay floor, the Guild has waged a massive, worker-led campaign. See the timeline here. More than 16,000 drivers signed the IDG’s petition to require a minimum pay rate for apps like Uber and Lyft. To force action, the IDG filed a formal rulemaking petition in March and the city responded in May that it planned to act on pay rules this summer. The IDG used the same regulatory tactic to require Uber to add a tipping option to the app last year.

IDG Fair Pay Campaign: By The Numbers

  • Two Years

  • 16,000 petition signatures

  • 7,400 emails to city officials

  • >1700 phone calls to city officials

  • 304 IDG members/ drivers demonstrated at City Hall in April, including a vehicle caravan over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall

  • 5,000 flyers

  • 615 drivers signed the first sign on letter in July 2016


“Uber is trying to erase driver activism by claiming they now support fair pay for drivers, but make no mistake: they don’t. Even after report after report came out showing the apps pay less than minimum wage, the companies denied it and refused to raise driver pay. The app companies have had every opportunity to pay drivers fairly, but instead they have gone to great lengths to slash pay and increase their own cut of each fare,” added Price. “After the tipping campaign, Uber did the same thing. Uber fought tipping tooth and nail and they only added the tipping option in the app after we won the law requiring it in the company’s biggest market, but they tried to play it off like their own initiative.”

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