NYTWA Statement on Uber Suing NYC to Stop Vehicle Cap

Earlier today, Uber sued New York City to stop the cap on for-hire-vehicles.

Brothers and Sisters: Stay Alert! Stay Active! These companies are trying to bully and create chaos with their wealth. We are ready. Our fight back continues and only gets stronger. Driver Power, Union Power!

Together, we will win and protect our victories, our livelihoods, our lives!

Read our statement below.

 Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (she/her), released the following statement: 

 "Eight drivers have now died by suicide because of the crisis Uber created. That's why Uber drivers and yellow cab drivers from across the city united to win the historic cap on for-hire-vehicles -- to put an end to the financial despair, debt, and poverty that is literally killing our brothers.  With more than 80,000 Uber cars on our roads, no driver can get enough fares to feed our families. Uber created this crisis of congestion on our streets. Uber caused this crisis of plummeting incomes for all drivers. And Uber is worsening the MTA crisis, siphoning income away from public transit by subsidizing its passenger fares. 

 “Yet, here and across the globe, Uber thinks it is above the law. The company wants the right to add more and more cars to our streets without limit. But there is a very human cost to Uber's business practices. Uber is arguing that the congestion surcharge on taxis, something the company lobbied for, makes the cap unnecessary. But Uber created this congestion. Uber's logic is a real head scratcher. The absurdity would be laughable if the consequences on drivers hadn't been so tragic."

We Told Albany: WE WON'T GIVE UP! Next Up: Demonstration on Feb. 26th Outside Governor's Manhattan Office!

THANK YOU to the 200+ drivers and families who made our Albany Action Day last week so powerful! Our caravan of yellow cabs and FHV’s filled the streets of Albany with the sound of our horns. Inside the Capitol, the noise of our chanting echoed throughout the building: “No More Suicides! No More Bankruptcies” “Tax the Rich! NOT the Poor!”

IMG_8938.jpg
IMG_9009.jpg
IMG_9104.JPG

Now We’re Getting Ready To…

Fill the Streets Outside the Governor’s Office!
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26th
1:00pm
633 Third Avenue
Tell the Governor: Tax the Rich, NOT the Poor! Exemption for Yellow and Green Cabs NOW!

In the meantime, call your Senators and Assembly Members to tell them yellow and green cabs need an exemption! If you want to know who your legislators are, use this link to look up your State Assembly Member and use this link to look up your State Senator. You can also call us at 718-706-9892 or email us at media@nytwa.org and we can look them up for you!

Check Out Our Twitter to See Videos from Albany Action Day!

 
 

Congestion Pricing Fee Goes Into Effect Feb. 2 at 12:01 AM. The Fight Is Not Over. Help Is Available.

Brothers and Sisters:  The Congestion Surcharge starts at 12:01am, Saturday, Feb. 2nd.  Meanwhile, the case to stop the surcharge continues and if the taxi side wins, the money will be refunded.  The state Assembly, Senate and Governor are also still deciding on the congestion surcharge on private cars and trucks.  So the issue is not over.  But as the fee starts for taxis and FHV’s already, we know this is an emergency.  

So take action: 

SUNDAY, FEB. 3rd
EMERGENCY PRESS CONFERENCE
AT 1:00PM
AT THE GOV’S OFFICE: 633 THIRD AVENUE
BRING YOUR END OF SHIFT RECEIPT WITH YOU

THEN ON TUESDAY, FEB 5TH we go to ALBANY.   MEET AT 10:30AM AT NEW BALTIMORE SERVICE AREA (***LOCATION CORRECTION: AFTER EXIT 21 BEFORE EXIT 21A***) ON THE NORTH BOUND NYS THRUWAY. 

AND WHILE WE FIGHT FOR an exemption for yellow and greencabs, HELP IS AVAILABLE in case of eviction, foreclosure, food stamps, health care and medicine.  Call the office at 718-706-9892 or email media@nytwa.org

If you are feeling depressed or helpless, you must reach out for help.  Call 1-800-273-8255.  

ALSO, WE CAN HELP WITH TLC VEHICLE RETIREMENT EXTENSION AND WE ARE ASKING MEDALLION LENDERS TO NOT START FORECLOSURES.  IF YOU DECIDE TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY, THE GOVERNOR AND THE COURT SHOULD KNOW.  

DO NOT SUFFER ALONE OR IN SILENCE.  STAND UP. THE FIGHT CONTINUES.  SEE YOU SUNDAY AT 1PM AT 633 THIRD AVENUE.

NYTWA Statement on Congestion Pricing Surcharge Lawsuit

On Thursday, January 31, 2019 NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai (she/her) released the following statement on the Congestion Pricing lawsuit following judge's denial of the state's motion to dismiss the case, and lifting of the temporary restraining order: 

"We feel triumphant that the state's motion to dismiss was denied and it gives us hope that ultimately the state will do the right thing and spare drivers the poverty and crisis that would result from this congestion fee. The judge lifted the restraining order, putting the authority back into the governor's hands on whether to burden taxi drivers with the surcharge while the case continues.

"We're calling on the governor not to move forward with fees that will force drivers to choose between food and medicine. That is how dire the poverty is now among this workforce that has lost eight of our brothers to suicide in less than a year. 

"Implementing the surcharge while the lawsuit continues could put the the industry in the predicament of figuring out how to refund passengers, even those who paid with cash, should the drivers ultimately win the case.

"Given that Albany is already renegotiating a new congestion pricing plan, the surcharge on taxis and for-hire vehicles should be reconsidered within these broader proposals. That's why we're heading to Albany on February 5th."

Judge's interim order can be found here. 

Get Ready for Albany Action Day next Tuesday, February 5th!

Join the motorcade to Albany as we meet with State Senators and Assembly Members to permanently exempt yellow and green cabs from the Congestion Pricing fee! We will meet at the New Baltimore Service Area between Exit 21B and Exit 22 on the north bound NYS Thruway. Sign up to join by calling our office at 718-706-9892 or emailing us at media@nytwa.org! You can also click the button below to fill out a form to join!

Lyft/Juno Lawsuit Update on Judge’s Decision & NYTWA Statement

"Drivers are at a breaking point. Maybe it's time for us to start talking about going on strike."

Today, New York State Supreme Court Judge responded to Juno and Lyft's lawsuits against the new app driver pay rule that was scheduled to go into effect this Friday, February 1, 2019, ruling that the companies will have to put money into escrow that would have gone to drivers from minimum pay standard. The next hearing is scheduled for March 18. In the meantime, drivers will not see the raise they were due. 

NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai (she/her) released the following statement: 

"Drivers aren't getting the raise we were promised to lift us out of poverty. And the state wants to add a new congestion surcharge on our fares. Eight professional drivers have committed suicide in New York City in little over a year.  Meanwhile, driver incomes continue to plummet due to the greed of these titans of the gig economy. 

"Now, Lyft and Juno are turning to the same courts that they bar their drivers from accessing through forced arbitration to fight against paying minimum wage. 

"Drivers are at a breaking point. Maybe it's time for us to start talking about going on strike."

We are also continuing to mobilize in our Congestion Pricing fight! Tomorrow, don’t forget to pack the court room as the state judge hears the case on the $2.50 fee!

State Court Hearing on Congestion Pricing
TOMORROW Thursday, January 31st
9:00am
80 Centre St

Read NYTWA Statement on Lyft & Juno Filing Suit to Block NYC Minimum Pay Rule for App Drivers

The following statement can be attributed to Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (She/Her):

"Shame on Lyft and Juno. These companies are collectively valuated at billions of dollars but claim to be too broke to pay drivers even minimum wage.

"Lyft, Juno and, no doubt, Uber, know their empire of poverty pay gigs is beginning to unravel and they're desperate for every dollar, especially leading up to their IPOs. Drivers organized too hard to win this victory and there is no way these companies will steal it from our hands.

"These titans of the gig economy have always pushed for policies that leave workers in poverty and debt. They misclassify drivers as independent contractors to strip workers of the most basic state and federal labor rights. Then they spend millions fighting for exemptions to the few local regulations that do exist. And they use forced arbitration in their contracts to prevent drivers from seeking justice through the courts.

"Now, ironically, they're turning to the same courts their drivers are barred from in their contracts to fight against paying workers minimum wage."

Copies of Lyft’s court papers can be found in this Google Drive link. You can find Juno’s court papers at this link.

See You This Thursday (Jan. 31) In Court + Get Ready for Feb. 5th!

Let's keep up the momentum in our Congestion Pricing fight by packing the court room this THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st as the judge hears the case and decides on whether or not to extend the temporary restraining order! When we filled the streets and packed the court room at the January 17th hearing, the judge decided to extend the Temporary Restraining Order for the entire month of January! This Thursday, it's time to be seen and heard again!

STATE COURT HEARING ON CONGESTION PRICING
This THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st
9:00am
80 Centre Street

As we keep up the pressure on the streets and in the court room for the restraining order to block Congestion Pricing from starting, mobilize to permanently EXEMPT yellow and green cabs from the $2.50 fee!

Spread the word and get ready for ALBANY ACTION DAY! Join the motorcade to Albany next Tuesday, February 5th! We will drive up together and then circle the Capitol Building in protest. We will hold a press conference and meet with State Senators and Assembly Members urging them to pass an exemption immediately!

ALBANY ACTION DAY!
Next TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5th

Meet at 10:30am to join the motorcade
Meet at the New Baltimore Service Area between Exit 21B and Exit 22 on the north bound NYS Thruway

Without the exemption, we all know yellow and greencab driver families will face major bankruptcy and eviction crisis, destroying thousands of lives.  On the other hand, winning the exemption lets us fight for a Raise for All Drivers by establishing the same minimum meter rate for yellow, green and Apps - $3.30 initial, $3/mile and 60c per minute.  App drivers would get minimum 80% of the fare! The new App rates starting on Feb. 1 are a good start, but our campaign for a real raise continues!

When we protest we build power.PNG

Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Congestion Pricing Extended to January 31st!

Great News!! On January 17th, a judge ordered that the Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Congestion Pricing will be extended until January 31st! That means there will be no fee for the entire month of January!

Congratulations to the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit and to the hundreds of NYTWA members who filled the streets and packed the courtroom on January 17th as the judge heard the case on the fee!

While the state's attorneys argued to have the case dismissed, the Judge actually extended the restraining order until a January 31st hearing, giving us more time to pressure the Governor, Assembly Members and state Senators to exempt yellows and greens from CP! 

Keep Building Up Momentum, Brothers and Sisters! We Are Making Victory Possible!

GET READY FOR….

Court Hearing on Congestion Pricing
Thursday, January 31st
9:00am
80 Centre Street

AND BUILD UP MOMENTUM FOR….

Albany Action Day!
Tuesday, February 5th
Meet up at 10:30AM at the New Baltimore Service Area 

located between Exit 21B and Exit 22 north bound on the NYS Thruway.  
We will also arrange rides for anyone without a car. 

Drive in a motorcade into Albany to ask State Senators and Assembly Members to permanently exempt yellow and green taxis from the congestion fee!  We will circle in protest around the Capitol Building, hold a press conference and visit legislators. 

Without the exemption, we all know yellow and greencab driver families will face major bankruptcy and eviction crisis, destroying thousands of lives.  On the other hand, winning the exemption lets us fight for a Raise for All Drivers by establishing the same minimum meter rate for yellow, green and Apps - $3.30 initial, $3/mile and 60c per minute.  App drivers would get minimum 80% of the fare! The new App rates starting on Feb. 1 are a good start, but our campaign for a real raise continues!

Two more things about our January 17th Rally on the court steps: First:  there were yellow owner-drivers and lease drivers, greencab, App, livery and black car drivers.  Many Uber/Lyft drivers came in solidarity, just like yellow owner-drivers stood in solidarity at the TLC public hearing on App driver payment rules.

Second:  so many members organized each other for the rally.  Drivers were texting on WhatsApp groups, calling friends, made their own copies of the flyer and posted them at airports and restaurants.

We, brothers and sisters, are a real movement.  We cannot be stopped or divided.  And together and active, we will always make victory possible!     

We're Getting Ready to Pack the Courtroom on Jan. 17th + To Keep Up The Pressure on the App Companies Until Feb. 1st!

Pack the courtroom on Thursday, January 17th as a New York State Judge hears the case on the $2.50 Congestion Pricing fee! We need the judge to keep blocking the start date for Congestion Pricing to pressure the Governor to exempt yellows and greens!

NEW YORK STATE COURT HEARING
ON STOPPING CONGESTION PRICING
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17th
9:00am
80 Centre Street

If Congestion Pricing starts, we will not be able to raise the yellow/green meter rates and that will make it harder for App drivers to also get a raise. The New TLC App Driver Rates are an average 11% raise per fare. It's a start, but not enough!

Winning an exemption against CP lets us fight for a Raise for All Drivers by establishing the same minimum meter rate across the entire industry, with 80% of the fare to App drivers! Without the exemption, yellows and greens will face major bankruptcy crisis, destroying thousands of families.

Fill Up The Streets + Pack the Courtroom to Stop Congestion Pricing!

 

 

UPDATE ON NEW TLC APP DRIVER PAY RATES!
Now Starting 
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2019

The New TLC App Driver Pay Rates were supposed to start January 11, 2019 but were delayed to Friday February 1, 2019. We are keeping up the pressure on the City and the Companies to stop any further delays! 

Check out our new Know Your Rights Web Page (www.nytwa.org/calculator) to see the countdown clock to the new rates!  You can use our calculator to see how much more you will be paid under the new rates.  And to make sure the city and companies don't delay the raise again, use the calculator to report how much a delay costs you in income per trip.

Check Out Our New Know Your Rights Page with a Calculator for App Driver Pay!

Home Page KYR.PNG

There is also has a calculator you can use to see how much more you would make per trip under our Raise For All Drivers Proposals! 

Summary of App Driver Pay Rates + Other Income Protections We Won
Starting February 1, 2019:

App Driver Payment:

App companies must pay drivers using the following minimum rates on each trip. (There is no extra commission taken from the driver. All goes to driver to pay vehicle and other expenses.)

  • Distance: $1.09 per mile

  • Time: $0.495 per minute

  • Out of Town Trips

    • Distance: $1.262 per mile

    • Time: $0.574 per minute

  • Group Ride Bonus: amount to be decided

These rules mean Uber, Lyft, etc. can no longer cut the rates on drivers! We finally have a floor to stand on! TLC's rates are higher on some trips than what Uber and Lyft pay today. Based on our analysis, it's an average 11% raise. Remember, we keep up the fight for more, and a raise for ALL DRIVERS!

App Company Enforcement:
· In addition to responding to driver complaints, TLC will audit trip records on a regular basis.
· Will require high volume FHVs to submit data on a regular basis to assist in audits and future policymaking
App Company Transparency:
· Requires bases to hold on to records for three years.
For Yellow and Green Cab Drivers:
· Credit card processing fee reduced from $11 to $7 / shift
· Increase coming in Accessible Dispatch & TIFF payments: to be announced on website
· Eliminate cap on payments for SHL Accessible grant program
· Include all yellow WAV's in programs (including accessible medallions)
· Require garages & brokers pay insurance claims to drivers who paid for repairs
· Require garages to give drivers credit on the lease when car is late. Allows garages to lease taxis for less than 12 hour shifts at pro-rated lease amount
· Requires taximeters to show total added amount

2018 Reflections + Victory Highlights in our End of Year Video!

Happy New Years, brothers and sisters! Thank you for everything you do for Justice, Rights, Respect and Dignity. Here is to 2018. And 2019, here we come!

And don't forget to PACK THE HEARING ROOM on THURSDAY, JANUARY 17th as a state Judge decides on whether or not to extend the Temporary Restraining Order against Congestion Pricing - while our case on how it will devastate especially the yellow and green cab sectors continues. Fill the Streets! Pack the Courts! THURSDAY, JANUARY 17th at 9:00AM at 80 Centre Street!