Our action yesterday broke the Governor's silence!

Yesterday, we did a last minute motorcade around the Gov. office with posters, Tax the Rich Not the Poor!, and the Governor announced he would support a one of the three taxes we have been calling for - tax on luxury second homes (also called pied a terre tax) - which would bring in $650 Million to the state. Instead of hurting 25,000 workers and still leaving the MTA underfunded, there would be enough money through this tax on the super rich to allow an exemption for yellows and greens!

It's working!!!  KEEP UP THE PRESSURE! 

We have posters on 500+ taxis as of today.  Keep them on and spread the word for all drivers to PICK UP YOUR POSTER at the office or at the JFK Lot!  Let's get to 5,000 taxis with posters as we build up to our March 20th Albany Day Action!  It's simple, but it's powerful.  You can pick up new posters at the office (Mon-Fri 12pm - 8pm) and the JFK Taxi & FHV Lot! 

And get ready to go to Albany WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20th!

Check out video of yesterday’s motorcade on our Facebook!

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One month of suffering under the Congestion Surcharge.  Incomes already down 15%.  One month of silence from the Governor.  So we announced a motorcade last night at 11pm and by this morning, there was already a fortress around the Gov's office with barricades and police on every corner and side.  But that's ok, because we let the horns and signs do our talking - and you better believe a bunch of cab drivers weren't going to let our motorcade line be broken up!

They won't break our spirits.  But we will break their silence.  

Our actions are working, our movement is growing! DRIVER POWER, UNION POWER! 

 

 

TAX THE RICH, NOT THE POOR!

Yellows and Greens should be exempt from the Congestion Surcharge so drivers can survive. Another way is possible: three taxes on the SUPER RICH would raise $6 Billion for the State!

1) $3.5 Billion from Closing the income tax loopholes for hedge fund managers (people who sell stocks don't have to pay income tax on all of their sales).

2) $2.3 Billion a multi millionaires' tax. Right now, income above $1 million is all taxed the same rate. New tax would set up new tax brackets so $2, $5, $100 million income would be taxed at their own bracket rater than at $1 million.

3) $650 Million from luxury second home taxon homes valued at $5 million or more and are not the main home where the owner lives. 

KEEP UP YOUR CALLS!

Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: 518-455-3791
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2585 

Our Movement Is Growing! See Photos from Our Powerful Feb 26th Demonstration! Next Up: WEDNESDAY MARCH 6th POSTER ACTION DAY!

Thank you to the hundreds of drivers, family, and riders who made yesterday’s Demonstration Outside Governor Cuomo’s Office so powerful! Our crowd is getting bigger and bigger! Our movement is growing! At yesterday’s Demonstration, hundreds and hundreds of drivers from all sectors covered Third Avenue from 41st St all the way down to 40th St! Our voices were heard loud, strong, and clear outside Governor Cuomo's Office: "TAX THE RICH, NOT THE POOR!" "EXEMPT YELLOWS AND GREENS, DO THE RIGHT THING!"

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Now it's time to spread our message of TAX THE RICH, NOT THE POOR all across the city!
Get Ready For
WEDNESDAY MARCH 6th
POSTER ACTION DAY!

As you drive on the streets and avenues across the city on March 6th, display NYTWA's Poster on the hood or trunk of your car to show Driver Unity and raise public awareness to our struggle! Pick up your poster for March 6th Poster Action Day at our office anytime Monday thru Friday from 12noon to 8pm! We are at 31-10 37th Avenue, Suite 300 LIC, NY 11101. You won't lose time or money over this action and it will be a powerful show of unity - all drivers, show your power!

Stop by the office anytime Monday thru Friday, 12noon to 8pm to pick up your poster for next Wednesday, March 6th!

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And Don’t Forget to Keep Making Your Calls!
Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: 518-455-3791
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2585

When you call tell them what you drive (yellow/green/livery) and that you are a member of the Taxi Workers Alliance and want them to exempt yellows and greens from the Congestion Surcharge!

See You TOMORROW, Feb. 26th. Outside Gov Cuomo's Office to say: TAX THE RICH NOT THE POOR! + Don’t Forget to Call Your Representatives!

At the airports and all across the city we have been spreading the word and mobilizing for our Demonstration Outside Governor Cuomo's Office THIS Tuesday, Feb. 26th! Get ready to make your voice heard as we tell him: Tax the Rich, Not the Poor! Exempt Yellow and Green Cabs from the Congestion Surcharge NOW!

DEMONSTRATION OUTSIDE GOVERNOR CUOMO’S OFFICE
To Tell Him: EXEMPTION NOW!!
TOMORROW, FEB. 26th
1:00pm
633 Third Avenue
(between 40th and 41st St)

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And as we mobilize for tomorrow’s Demonstration, let's keep up the pressure by making phone calls to elected officials asking them to support the exemption!

MAKE YOUR CALLS! KEEP IT UP!

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO: 518-474-8390

ASSEMBLY SPEAKER CARL HEASTIE: 518-455-3791

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER ANDREA STEWART-COUSINS: 518-455-2585

We also need to keep up the pressure on State Senators and Assembly Members by flooding their offices with calls! You can look up your representatives by entering your address at this link for your Assembly Member and at this link for your State Senator. Or call the office at 718-706-9892 or email media@nytwa.org so we can look them up for you!

When you call your Senator or Assembly Member, you can use this script:

My name is ___, and I am a member of your district. I drive [yellow cab/green cab], and I am a member of the Taxi Workers Alliance. I need an exemption from the Congestion Pricing surcharge because I cannot afford to lose any more income. More than 90% of my fares take place in the affected zone, and I could lose up to $15,000 per year in income at a time when I am already struggling. I need the assembly member/senator to support an exemption for yellow and green cabs! 

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!”

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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!

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