VICTORY!!! You Better Believe It! NYTWA Did It!

A New Day is Here!

Today, NYTWA members won a historic victory as New York City Council voted YES on the first legislation of its kind to regulate App companies like Uber and Lyft! New York City is the first city in the country to enact drivers' demands into legislation! Months of tireless organizing from members of every sector - yellow, App-based, green, livery, black car - made this victory possible! 

WHAT OUR ORGANIZING WON:

1) A cap on the number of new for-hire-vehicles for 12 months, with the exception of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV's). Diamond renewals will continue the same. FHV drivers who are now leasing to own their car will be able to get a new vehicle license during the one year.

2) TLC authority to regulate minimum rates of fare across the industry.  

3) TLC authority to regulate App minimum pay for App drivers and App passenger fares. Now App companies will no longer be able to recklessly cut rates on drivers' backs!

4) Creation of a new corporate license and TLC rulebook for App companies.

The City Council also introduced these bills today for September hearings...onward to our next victory!

1) Require TLC to make rules on FHV leasing, rental, lease-to-own, and conditional purchase agreements!

2) Require TLC to study problem of medallion owners with excessive debt and determine action!

3) Establish a health benefits fund for all drivers

4) Require FHV companies to pay drivers regardless of whether the electronic payment is denied

5) Require TLC to engage in outreach and education to drivers on financial decisions related to medallion purchase, lease, or refinancing and the purchase, rental, or lease of FHVs; and set up centers to help drivers with financial counseling and mental health

6) Establish an Office of Inclusion at TLC with focus on promoting diversity, inclusion, and cultural sensitivity in the industry, especially as they relate to service refusals

WHEN WE FIGHT, WE WIN! TOGETHER, WE HAVE THE POWER!

Months and months of tireless organizing made our victory possible. In unity, here is what we accomplished during our Protect Full-Time Jobs Campaign & Our Response to Driver suicides

November 2017
Surveyed 380 drivers on their economic conditions & demands

December 2017
General Meetings to finalize our demands

February 6, 2018
Vigil for Douglas Schifter at City Hall, following his suicide

March 28
Press Conference on City Hall Steps, following the suicide of Nicanor Ochisor 

April 1
Collected 4,000 postcards demanding that the Mayor & Governor address the crisis

April 25
City Hall Action Day! Drivers met with Council Members during morning meetings then rallied for a press conference on City Hall Steps to submit the 40+ demands of our comprehensive Policy Platform and Rulemaking Petition to the Mayor, the Speaker, and the TLC

April 30
Testified at the City Council FHV Committee Public Hearing

May 22
Press Conference for Police Action to Find Kenny Chow

May 27
Vigil for Kenny Chow

May 29
Rally for Council Action covering Broadway from Murray to Warren

June 7
City Council Stated Meeting Outreach lead by Richard Chow, brother of Kenny Chow

June 18
Press Conference outside City Hall for Abdul Saleh, following his suicide

June 18 - June 29
Daily Protest line outside City Hall from 10am to 6pm

June 21
Funeral service for Brother Abdul Saleh

July 3
Response to TLC Proposal regarding App driver pay

July 10
Demonstration outside City Hall following TLC Proposal that would lock drivers into wage ceiling

July 19
Won our Uber Unemployment Insurance decision victory!

July 29
Released our 9-point Civil Rights Initiative

July 31
Demonstration outside City Hall to say Yes to the FHV Cap + All Drivers' General Meeting to strategize & mobilize

August 1
Bangla Media Press Conference

August 2 - 5
Social Media Campaign to tell City Council: Vote Yes on the Cap! 

August 6
Demonstration outside Uber/Lyft HQ

August 7
Vigil for fallen driver brothers Alfredo, Danilo, Douglas, Nicanor, Kenny, and Abdul outside City Hall

August 8
Vote Day!!!

Read our statement from ED Bhairavi Desai following our victory: 

"This victory belongs to Douglas, to Abdul, to Nicanor, to Alfredo, to Kenny, to Danilo. This victory belongs to the thousands of NYTWA members scraping by to feed their families, who took time away from their cars, losing precious and hard fought income to be on the streets standing together and standing up for each other. This victory belongs to our brothers and sisters who pulled over to the side of the road to call City Council members during their grueling 14 hour shifts. This victory belongs to yellow cab, green cab, livery, black car, Uber and Lyft drivers who united together in our union to transform shared struggle and heartbreak into hope and strength. And this victory belongs to New Yorkers and our allies who have stood with us to say, not one more death, not one more fallen driver crushed by poverty and despair. 

"Thousands of NYTWA members have marched and rallied, have stood together in the blazing sun, in rainstorms, joining us us after sleepless nights and days behind the wheel. Our activism created the momentum to regulate app-dispatch companies for the very first time. What happened today didn't just set a precedent for New York City, it set a precedent for the entire world as app companies like Uber and Lyft use technological innovation to return us to a time of sweated labor, destroying lives and livelihoods across the planet. 

"Six New York City drivers have committed suicide in recent months, including two livery drivers, a black car driver, a yellow cab lease driver and two yellow cab owner-drivers, unable to survive the economic crisis brought on by the over saturation of for-hire-vehicles on our streets. Uber and Lyft have spent millions of dollars lobbying, running ad campaigns of disinformation and trying to push their agenda of libertarian anti-regulation zealotry. Today, New York City said, no more. We cannot be bought. Workers must come before a corporate agenda of greed at all costs. 

"Today, a workforce of over 100,000 men and women, a workforce of immigrants and people color, finally have a reason to hope for an end to this crisis. Today we took the first step. Tomorrow we will continue to fight."