BREAKING NEWS: UBER SETTLEMENT DENIED IN CALIFORNIA!!! Just heard from our attorney: WE WON!!! We worked with 200 Uber drivers to submit objections. Judge Chen wrote, "...the Court concludes that the Settlement as a whole is not fair, adequate, and reasonable, and therefore DENIES plaintiffs' motion for preliminary approval."


Emergency Action! Motorcade to Albany

Wed, June 1st* Meet at 7:00 am outside Union office

Uber and Lyft are lobbying the state Assembly and Senate for a new Insurance Law to let Apps dispatch fares to private motorists in personal cars.  The special law would let them have lower insurance standards than taxis and FHV’s.  The driver, other motorists and pedestrians only get full coverage if the accident happens after a fare is accepted.  The coverage goes down if the driver is in an accident while cruising and there is no coverage at all if the App is off.  It’s classic Ubernomics:  lower the insurance coverage, lower the premium, the higher they can charge on the commission.  The driver & public face the risks while Uber rakes in super profits.  This law would be the beginning of Uber, Lyft & other Apps getting a state-wide law to dispatch to private motorists. 

STATE LAWMAKERS NEED TO HEAR FROM DRIVERS!!!  Join drivers from across NYS for this emergency action!  We will be supported by disability rights activists, labor unions and community organizations.  To Be Heard, We Have to Be Seen! Drive Your Taxi, Black Car or Greencab or Ride with a Fellow Driver

7:00am: Gathering

7:30am: Press Conference & Departure

31-10 37th Ave, Long Island City

Return by 5:00 PM

 


Why We Say No to TNCs!


"TNC" (Transportation Network Company) is a special carved out category in state law that allows Uber, Lyft and other "App-based dispatching" taxi services to operate unregulated, dispatching fares to private motorists with personal cars.  

  • The majority of Uber drivers are part-timers, and net an average $300 per week/25 hours worked, from which they still have to pay for gasoline, insurance, vehicle expenses and self-employee taxes. (SherpaShare independent study)
  • Recent reports show drivers making $2.89 an hour, as Uber cuts fares (New York Observer)
  • The proposed law pre-empts the state from considering Uber drivers employees entitled to basic protections such as minimum wage, overtime pay and unemployment benefits, just because the employer is a TNC.
  • Despite its billions, Uber does not believe in wheel-chair accessible service, or any compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, including service to blind passengers with service animals, Braille signs or hearing loops.
  • The proposed law lets TNC's do away with NYS gapless insurance coverage, letting TNCs offer three-tiered coverage in case of collision, including no coverage at all if the accident is when the App is off (the driver is going on a break or heading home)
  • Rochester city budget, which relies on licensing and permit fees to taxis, will lose $200,000 annually if the taxi industry were to evaporate, and just like with the jobs they destroy, Uber offers nothing in replacement.
  • Uber also famously cherry picks fares from popular bus routes, bringing down revenue for public transportation that the majority of our communities need (and destroying good union jobs along the way.)
  • Since there is no limit on the number of vehicles or restrictions on where cars may come from to pick up fares in Rochester, the streets will be crowded - slowing down everyone on the roads. A city like San Francisco now has 30,000 cars competing for fares, where 2,000 taxis were enough to serve.

There are no regulations on fares so Uber has unlimited surge pricing (a typical $15 fare could end up being $200), the drivers do not go through more stringent fingerprint background checks, are not required to meet the same zero-tolerance blood-alcohol standard as professional taxi drivers, and the vehicles don't go through commercial inspections or safety standards.


Call For Driver Unity!

In NYC, Uber drivers are earning less than minimum wage and working on three Apps to earn a full-time living.  Individual medallion owner-drivers are facing bankruptcy.  Greencab drivers (majority permit holders) are seeing the market disappear in less than 3 years after it was first created through law and years of driver struggle.  In a race to the bottom, no driver wins.  In San Francisco, 1,900 taxi drivers are competing with 30,000 Uber PRIVATE PLATES who drive mostly rush hours and weekend nights.  Nationwide, after 15-25 hours of work, Uber drivers average $325/week after the commission and still have to pay for vehicle and gasoline.  Only Uber profits.  Uber is also rushing to bring out the first “Driverless Car” so they don’t have to “lose” the fare to the driver.  If Uber & co. are able to monopolize, this will be the only future for every driver!  Tens of thousands of drivers across this globe are rising up in unity to defend their futures!  In NYC, the biggest market for App companies, we need driver UNITY among all the sectors to build the POWER we need to secure our futures.  Rise Up, brothers and sisters!  Stand United!


RISE UP, DRIVERS! 

DEMAND THE RATES BE REINSTATED!

Press Conference TOMORROW, Friday 1/29/16 at 

12noon, outside Uber Hq. 27-55 Jackson Ave (Queens) 
Stop the Race to the Bottom!  
Protect Full-Time Jobs!

"Uber slashes fare rates for some drivers by 15 percent," by Dan Rivoli, Daily News
http://nydn.us/1nrgwc3

Uber just announced they are cutting fares by 15%, starting on Jan 29th.  Uber wants to monopolize taxi service, and destroy drivers in the process.  Join the Protest:  Press Conference at 12noon @ Uber Hq. (27-55 Jackson Ave, Queens.)  PROTECT FULL-TIME JOBS! 

  • Uber is cutting fare rates by 15%, overnight, during slow season time, and after many days when drivers could not work due to holidays and the storm.
  • In wealthy Orange County, California Uber charges $0.00 initial drop & 80c per mile. 
  • Uber is also lobbying in Albany for a state-wide license to dispatch to an unlimited number of private cars, promising “flexible opportunities” – no more jobs – and a special law to exempt it from being an employer that must meet Minimum Wage requirements and pay for Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and other benefits. 

Protest the Wage Cuts!  IN THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM, NO DRIVER WINS! 


WAV Classes Start at the Taxi Workers Academy at NYTWA!

All drivers can now take their TLC required Wheel-Chair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) course at the Taxi Workers Academy at NYTWA! Classes begin Monday, October 19th!  There are classes every weekday and Sundays, and even at midnight on Mondays and Tuesdays! All renewing Hack and FHV license holders are required by TLC to take the course in order to keep  your license active. Invest your fees in fighting for drivers’ rights!   Come and learn from experienced driver-teachers!

 Sign up is easy! Call the NYTWA office at 718-706-9892 or click on  http://www.nytwa.org/wav-classes/


From the JFK Lot to the Governor's Office: We Were Heard!

 

Thank you to the hundreds of drivers and our allies who gathered on September 16 to say No To Transportation Network Companies and Yes To Professional Full-Time Work In The Taxi Industry!

Congratulations, Demonstrators!  WE WERE HEARD!  The Governor's Executive Staff held a meeting with us immediately following the action.  Keep Up the Momentum as the meetings continue! Many allies also gave speeches:  Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, Taxis for All Campaign (Disability Rights activists), United We Stand (Black Car Drivers), Green Cabs NY, National Writers Union, Laundry Workers Center, and convenors of the Justice for Drivers Coalition - New York Communities for Change.  Members of the general public stopped to listen to us and hundreds of motorists honked horns in support.  Japanese media aired it live!  Word spread to our brothers and sisters in Belgium and Australia also demonstrating on the same day.  We are building a broad based movement of solidarity and support for our Movement for Economic Justice.  Thank you to all who made it such a successful, beautiful day! 

Drivers Shut Down JFK Lot in Defense of Driver Brother Assaulted by Supervisor

On Tuesday, the day before our Wednesday demonstration, hundreds of drivers shut down the central taxi lot at JFK Airport for over 3 hours. Brother Iqbal Singh was giving out flyers for the demonstration when he was assaulted by the Supervisor dispatcher. The union went immediately to the lot. The Supervisor was arrested after we reached. When we saw that Mr. Iqbal was also being arrested, we refused to move. The lot was surrounded by Port Authority police force, vans for group arrests, dozens of tow trucks, and vans with police dogs. Still, drivers refused to move. We shouted, We Want Justice! and stood in front of the moving lane. Hundreds of drivers sat down on the streets. At approximately 6pm, after making ourselves heard - NYTWA went to the speakers and announced that drivers could resume work.

The PA PD, Port Authoriy, and Gateway understood - the abuse and injustice will no more be tolerated. The Power of Driver Unity is awoken and ready to be unleashed. The Driver COURAGE and UNITY was something magical, something beyond words. Drivers of EVERY community stood united and firm and hundreds of drivers so proudly shouted the name of NYTWA. Iqbalji, after suffering injuries and a long night, as promised, still came first thing Wed morning to help carry the stage for the demonstration. This is what a hero looks like. This is what a movement looks like. We march on until there is Justice for Drivers, everywhere!


Uber: Wal-Mart on Wheels? | Bhairavi Desai on #GRITtv 2/17/15 https://youtu.be/ICSZg9EGsSE


Read: "NYTWA Response to David Plouffe and Comptroller Stringer"  http://conta.cc/1ROqvpv

URGENT!  PROTECT OUR FULL-TIME JOBS!

YELLOW, GREEN, UBER DRIVERS UNITE!

Support Mayor & City Council Proposal to Require Environmental Impact Study of Growth of FHV Vehicles & Stop TLC from Issuing New Vehicle Permits During the Study Period.

STAND UP DRIVERS!  Between Yellow Taxis, Green Cabs & App-affiliated FHV’s, there are now over 40,000 Cars All Competing in Manhattan for Fares.  Imagine competing with 10,000 more!!!  72% of App Fares Are in Central Business District in Manhattan.  No driver will be able to earn a full-time living!!!

Uber Has the Money.  But We Are the PEOPLE!

Read: "Taxi Workers Call for Support.  Our Take on the Uber War"  http://conta.cc/1KeCc1T

Uber believes taxi driving should be part-time, secondary income for people who already have another job and a private car.  Their goal is to be the one company monopoly of taxis and FHVs and in a few years, bring in driverless cars.  They are testing them in Austin, Texas.  Uber CEO said, that this way, Uber’s one cost – splitting the fares with the drivers – would be gone and they could make more profit.  Today, they make ads attacking taxi drivers.  Tomorrow, they will turn against all drivers.  Stand Up, Drivers!  Protect Ourselves!


Taxi Workers Respond to California Labor Commission  
Game Changer Ruling:
Uber Drivers Are Employees

Decision Affirms That the Law is Catching Up to Uber

San Francisco Drivers Ready for Uber Showdown at
National Mayor's Conference

"California Labor Commission's Ruling today that Uber drivers are employees and entitled to protections under the law is empowering, gratifying and foretelling:  finally, a set of laws Uber has not been allowed to violate or skirt.  There is no doubt that more drivers will stand up, more states will verify their employee status, and all will boil over into federal rulings on drivers' right to collectively organize without retaliation or fear", said Bhairavi Desai, President of the National Taxi Workers Alliance.
 
This could have a game changing impact on a company that profiteers from breaking laws and cutting costs.  Uber has left markets when required to carry insurance standards still subservient to taxis and for-hire-vehicles, but higher than their lobbying goals.  On the other hand, a decision affirming drivers' rights in the share-the-scraps economy may be the wake up call to require consumer rights as well.
 
The decision comes on the eve of the National Mayor's Conference where San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has pulled out the red carpet for Uber to wine and dine.  The San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance is organizing actions throughout the conference, including a picket line in front of Uber Headquarters on June 22nd challenging Mayors to stand out the tour and stand instead with grieved workers.
 
READ MORE + (PDF)


100+ Taxis Caravan to Albany,
Call on Legislators to Stop the TNC Bills!

Support us by making calls!

Support us while we meet with members of the Senate and Assembly this week by making phone calls to the legislators who are sponsoring these bills.  Tell them that you are AGAINST the TNC Bills passing ("Vote NO!") and you do not want NY State to permit Apps like Uber and Lyft to pick up fares under the anti-worker, anti-consumer Transportation Network Company (TNC) model. 

Protect Full-Time Work for Taxi Drivers!


NYS Appeals Court Strikes Down Historic Driver Benefits Fund

With a heavy heart, I share the news: 
The New York State Appellate Division ruled today to uphold the trial Judge's decision to strike down our historic Healthcare and Disability Fund.  I won't lie to you brothers and sisters, this really hurts.  It's a stinging loss.  I think of my friends, my teachers, my fellow warriors who we lost to failing health and the wear and tear of this exhausting job and it breaks my heart that their lives didn't matter to the fleet owners who financed the lawsuits, the trial Judge who coldly wrote, "If a driver needs disability, it begs the question why were they licensed in the first place," a city administration who stalled the contract for months before the lower level decision, and now a panel of New York's Appellate Division justices, declaring for taxi workers, there is no Justice.

It makes me sick to my core that fleet owners lied to the drivers for months about the Fund - claiming it was only to help you sign up for Obamacare, when there were significant, real benefits for drivers and our families for the first-time in thirty years under leasing, a system where rich bosses are made wealthier and poor workers bear all the risks.

READ MORE

Featured Video

NYTWA's Executive Director speaks out about why TLC's For-Hire-Vehicle Apps rules should be adopted and apply to TNCs such as Uber and Lyft.

"Bhairavi Desai, exec. director of NYTWA, said these smartphone-based competitions were “making a full-time profession for generations and generations into a gig." "These rules are a small step,” she said to an eruption of applause, “but they are only fair, and they’re absolutely necessary.” http://nyti.ms/1eCEk8T

Port Authority testimony: Airport congestion

ASOTINY (green cab drivers org) testimony: Too much competition

National TWA & ITF Joint Press Conference and Panel Discussion:  Ride-share and the Global Taxi Industry


Protect Full-Time Jobs!
No to TNCs & Share-the-Scraps Economy!

In the latest actions, hundreds of drivers gathered in Austin, Texas for a Speak Out, demanding the City Council set aside for a driver Co-op all of the 405 permits the city is considering to issue; while hundreds demonstrated in Perth, Australia for an end to the share-the-scraps economy; And Uber has been banned in Brazil!

Not since leasing made us independent contractors and placed the burden of daily debt on our backs have we been under such vicious attack.  Uber and Lyft lobby against insurance, security background checks, vehicle standards, and driver licensing requirements to de-professionalize our work and sell it in pieces.  To be the fastest and cheapest, they clog the streets with vehicles, undercut driver earnings and look only for part-timers.

No worker wins.  Rise Up, NYC!

READ MORE

NYTWA Launches Fair Courts Campaign

NYTWA and partners are filing Appeals and Article 78’s (appeals to NY Supreme Court) to challenge unfair guilty convictions at the OATH Taxi Tribunal, license denial by TLC, or loss of income due to administrative failure by OATH or TLC.

The NYTWA Court Defense Project looks to challenge findings of guilt with no evidence, incomplete determination of credibility, bias, and lack of services such as translation or support when drivers are self-represented.

Come to us with your cases!  Move our Fair Courts Campaign forward!

READ MORE

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NYTWA Victory!
New Rules for Re-Entry

Starting May 31st, TLC will have a new “Re-entry” rule to allow drivers to reapply before the end of the 3 year revocation period.  Also, a Defensive Driving Course will now reduce points even up until the day of the final hearing.  

NYTWA fought hard for these rules, showing TLC over 100 cases.  Ninety percent of the drivers who lost their livelihood had incurred non-hazardous violations, not speeding or red light tickets.  

Come to the union office for help with the re-entry application, TLC summonses, and license assessments.  

READ MORE