On April 25, 2018 we rallied on the steps of City Hall to announce a comprehensive policy platform to stop the crisis of poverty that had pushed four drivers to suicide in four months. The guiding principles in our policy platform are: stop the immediate crisis, protect drivers across all sectors, protect full-time driving jobs across the industry, raise driver incomes, and raise labor standards across the industry. The solutions we propose are to address the financial crisis drivers are experiencing across the industry, including yellow taxi, green cab, livery, black car, Uber, Lyft and other app-dispatched drivers.
For nearly forty years, four factors have determined driver incomes: a) rate of fare, b) operating expenses, c) number of trips and d) number of vehicles on the streets. It’s a four factor formula that determines whether at the end of a grueling shift a driver takes home a livable income or sinks into debt. The entry of new companies with an unfettered business model where not one of these factors has been regulated has led to today’s crisis of destitution gripping a workforce with once solid full-time jobs. Capping the vehicles at the current 68,000 affiliated with Uber, though a necessary step, is not sufficient to stop this crisis. We need to lift drivers out of poverty, protect their earnings, and ensure fair labor standards.
NYTWA has over 20 demands to bring drivers out of crisis, including:
Regulate the new corporate sector and establish labor standards. Regulations must include a showing of need to affiliate additional vehicles; minimum rate of fare; the company’s responsibilities to drivers; income protections for drivers; and protections against wage theft. Regulations must extend to companies that lease or finance vehicles to App drivers.
Cap vehicles with a moratorium on new vehicle licenses and requirements to meet vehicle license renewal; Enact a formula to add vehicle licenses moving forward.
Enact a wage floor so driver incomes do not plummet; Establish the regulated taxi meter as the minimum rate of fare so no App company can go lower.
Enact an immediate raise of the rates: from $2.50 to $2.60 initial drop; from $2.50 per mile to $3.25 per mile; and a corresponding 18.8% for JFK flat rate, from $52 to $62
Stop Congestion Pricing on Drivers' Backs. The solution to Manhattan congestion is to cap the number of for-hire-vehicles, not take money out of the pockets of drivers facing economic despair.
Health & Wellness Fund with Retirement. City Council must legislate to give the Taxi and Limousine Commission the power to implement the health and wellness fund that drivers won through NYTWA organizing.