Take Action to Pass FHV Study and Limit on New Vehicle Permits!

TAXI DRIVERS: Yellow, Green, Uber!

If this is your full-time job, then stand up and protect it!

Uber is on a warpath – lying and lobbying – to stop the City Council from requiring a study on the Environmental Impact of the new FHVs & to limit the number of new vehicle permits during the study.

CALL YOUR COUNCIL MEMBER!

“I drive (a taxi, green cab, Uber, Lyft, black car) for a living and none of us can make a living because of the congestion and the over competition.  Protect the hard-working drivers, not the billionaires at Uber!”

For Your Council Member’s Phone Number & Address, Call NYTWA at 718-706-9892, or Call 311.

NYC, Rise Up!

Don’t let Uber, Lyft & other App Companies Turn Our Full-Time Jobs into Part-Time, Temporary “Gigs.”  Uber drivers in US earn less than $15,000/year.  In NYC, Uber wants to add 10,000 NEW cars to their fleet of 19,800.  Drivers are only good, though, until the Driverless Cars are built. (Uber started tests in Pittsburg.)  

Don’t let taxi fleets and brokers tie us down to high leases & no benefits!  

In France, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and dozens of countries across the world, professional, full-time taxi drivers are standing up, fighting back, defending their rights.

NYTWA SUPPORT MEMO + PRESS RELEASE

CA Labor Commission Rules that Uber Drivers Are Employees!

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.

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Over 100 Taxi and FHV Drivers 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!

Albany Day June 9th - Stop NYS TNC Bills!

Stop Apps for Private Pick-Ups!  Stop the TNCs!
Caravan to Albany!
TUES., JUNE 9th
7am Gathering @ NYTWA
7:30am Press Conference & Send Off!

RISE UP NYC DRIVERS! DEFEND OUR FULL-TIME JOBS!


Even if you can't drive to Albany, join the Press Conference!  You can also get a ride with a fellow protestor!  Return by 5:30 PM.
Bring your yellow, green, limo, or livery!

NY State Appeals Court Strikes Down Historic Taxi Driver Healthcare and Disability 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.  They never got it, you know.  They never understood that taking care of drivers who have enriched them doesn't threaten their wealth or their power.  It's just the right thing to do.  They never understood that building up the morale of drivers boosts their own industry.

I don't know one single driver whose Disability Claim was honored by any fleet or agent.  But I can tell you countless stories of the drivers - injured or ill from cancer, kidney failure, heart attacks - whose applications have been turned away, tossed out.  I'll never forget when the fleet owners' lawyer, with such sarcasm in his voice, said we exaggerated the need for the Fund talking about drivers being maimed.  I honest to God just wanted to scream.  I wanted the court to know the names of Beresford Simmons and Sajjad Matin and Javaid Khan and Vivian Borges and so so many others.  I wanted them to know these were PEOPLE whose lives he was disparaging. This wasn't just one more case.

For every driver who has ever said, we don't get respect on this job, this benefits fund was the beginning to changing that tide.  We would have an institution reminding the TLC and the industry that drivers' health and welfare matter and injured workers are not disposable.  Concretely, $350 per week for Disability, up to 26 weeks, is a significant benefit.  And this was just the beginning.  When I told him the news, my Husband said, so the TLC can collect 30 cents to help fleet owners pay for a car, but not 6 cents for the human being, the driver?  It says it all, really.  Where is the Justice?  I want to cry and I want to scream.

The only thing I don't want to do is give up.  Even if we go screaming and crying, for 19 years, we have left so many footsteps in the mighty march toward Justice, even eyes closed, we will know how to get there.  But brothers and sisters, we can only do it together.  I don't want these to be the values that win out in our world.  And I don't want us to be the people who lose out.  Taxi drivers serve a million people every day.  Your labor generates over $85 million in revenue for the MTA.  This Fund was just the start of what you all should have, what every worker on this earth, should have.  Walk with me.  Walk with us.  Eyes wide open, know your power and demand your rights.  The City Council can legislate benefits for every single taxi driver.  We cannot give up until they do.

Love and Peace,

Bhairavi Desai

Nepalese Transport Unions Rebuild Following Earthquake

The city of Kathmandu, Nepal, has been devastated by recent earthquakes on 4/25/15 and 5/12/15.  At least 8,600 people have been confirmed dead, with many missing and over 16,800 injured.  Nearly 800,000 have seen their homes partially or fully destroyed. 

Nepal Transport Workers Union (also known as Nepal Yatayat Mazdoor Sangh, NETWON) and others worked to facilitate free travel for the over 1 million people in Kathmandu who fled the city in fear.  Additionally, they distributed tents, and used union resources to assess earthquake damages and track missing persons.

International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has set up a dedicated fund to pool donations to its affiliates in Nepal: NETWON, ITWAN, UNITRAV, and the Rickshaw union.  This also helps in the reconstruction of union premises. 

Add your donation:

Mail a check to the address below or give via credit card.

Caroline Mangal
Finance Dept
ITF
49/60 Borough Road
London SE11DR
UK

Please make your check out to "International Transport Workers Federation" and write "Nepal Earthquake Relief Donation" in the notes area.

"We have not lost our spirit to overcome this and other challenges. We are proud of our affiliation to the ITF and the whole ITF global family. We are extremely grateful to all well-wishing individuals and unions in Nepal and abroad who have expressed their solidarity with us in this time of crisis." - Ajay Kumar Rai (President, NETWON union)

Our friends at Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice, a NYC-based non-profit organization working with Nepali communities to promote human rights and social justice for all, has been steadfastly raising funds and resources.  To make an online payment, please go to: http://igg.me/at/YmTZgHyZKTg

Whitney Museum Thanks Taxi Drivers with Free Admission

The Whitney Museum of American Art has officially moved downtown to 99 Gansevoort St in the Meatpacking District. 

As a special Thank You to all the yellow taxis that will be taking passengers there - as true ambassadors of NYC! - the museum is offering FREE ADMISSION now through July 31st, 2015.  All you need is to present a valid hack license for admission for two.  Children under 18 visit for free as well, so bring the family.

NYTWA thanks the Whitney Museum for engaging in a partnership with us to bring this gesture to drivers who work so hard for this city.

For hours and exhibition info: www.whitney.org

 

Drivers - Stand Up Against TNCs!

PROTECT OUR FULL-TIME JOBS!
TLC Public Hearing on FHV Apps

Thursday, May 28th
10am at 33 Beaver Street, 19th Floor

There’s a bill in Albany to let Uber & other Apps dispatch to private drivers with personal cars in New York State.  Their business model is to flood the streets with cars & cut fares and raise them at their own will, killing professional jobs:  51% of Uber drivers are part-time & they set up recruitment for 10,000 NEW drivers in NYC to add to their 14,000 affiliated drivers.  There are 75 different Apps competing in NYC.  

NO DRIVERS will be able to earn a full-time living.  Across the world, millions of taxi drivers are RISING UP with strikes and demonstrations.

Stop the Private Pick-Ups!  Caravan to Albany!  TUES., JUNE 9th

RISE UP NYC DRIVERS! DEFEND OUR FULL-TIME JOBS!

Court Hears Arguments on Drivers Benefits Fund

On April 28th, the New York Supreme Court – Appellate Division heard oral arguments on the city’s appeal of a devastating ruling in April 2014 to void the first-ever Taxi Drivers Healthcare Services and Disability Fund.  The services were to be paid for by a collection of six cents per fare.  Greater New York Taxi Association, a fleet owners’ group, admitted to financing the lawsuits against drivers’ benefits.  NYTWA’s application to administer the fund won the contract after a highly competitive public process.

The trial Judge dismissed the case brought on by fleet owners and their insurance company allies to challenge NYTWA’s right to the contract.  NYTWA proposed the creation of an independent, non-profit Taxi Workers Alliance Benefits Fund to administer a $350/weekly up to 26 weeks Disability Insurance (illness or off-duty injury; $300/weekly for part-timers) and 20 other benefits, including Vision, Dental, Hearing, Term Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance, a 24-hour multi-lingual doctor’s hotline and mental health counseling, and more.  Driver eligibility would be determined by the number of trips or fare bookings with 30,000 drivers expected to be provided direct benefits and all 50,000 hack holders to be served.  The majority of the benefits, such as free exams and x-rays, are also for family members (spouse and dependents up to 26 years of age).  The Fund is a historic step forward for a workforce that serves half a million fares a day and brings in $100 million a year to support the MTA, but has nothing for themselves.  

Mayor DeBlasio filed an appeal immediately after Justice Margaret Chen voided the TLC’s six cents collection, writing “… a taxi driver applying for disability begs the question why were they licensed in the first place,” and wrongly saying that the Affordable Care Act provides disability insurance.  The TLC stopped the six cents collection in April 2014 and has been holding the money in a separate account pending the decision.  

WNYC (4/14/14): Fund for Disabled Taxi Drivers Hits Legal Setback
The Washington Post (4/16/14): New York court guts a groundbreaking health-care fund that would have changed taxi drivers’ lives

Get Help for Licensing and Unfair Suspension Matters

Submitted your renewal application but no license yet?  Told you can’t even apply?  Denied a new license after you served the revocation or time on a past criminal conviction?  Were you logged out mid-shift for a suspension over a payment or hearing you didn’t even know about? 

Every day, NYTWA helps drivers get back on the road after administrative delays or wrongful action.  Contact the union with any Licensing or Accounts problems and we will help (718-706-9892). 

The NYTWA Courts Defense Project will also file Article 78’s to win back lost income in cases where a driver was wrongly suspended (for example, before the deadline to pay the fine after an appeal decision), unfairly denied the right to apply (for example, told you have too many points to apply new or renew when you don’t), or unfairly denied after a Fitness Interview (for example, not following state law on evaluating past criminal convictions).

NYTWA Court Defense Project: Appeals & Article 78’s

As part of our Fair Courts Campaign, NYTWA and partners are filing Appeals and Article 78’s 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.  Our first case was recently filed (LINK)!

An Article 78 is an appeal to the NY Supreme Court.  If it’s filed to appeal an OATH decision, you must first complete the OATH appeal and a petition to the TLC Chairperson.  Drivers should bring court decisions and matters of income loss immediately so we don’t miss any deadlines in the process and your full rights can be protected.  

OATH took over control of the TLC court in 2011, but kept most of the TLC’s procedures, even where OATH might offer more rights to respondents in their other Tribunals.  The actual rules and penalties are set by the TLC, and some, by the City Council.  The taxi tribunal, with over 100,000 hearings a year, is the city’s most active.  But unlike other courts with such high volume, free legal services are not provided to drivers, and appeals and Article 78’s are costly. 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.  With good case law, we can ensure that drivers are not treated like second-class citizens.  

Victory! TLC’s New “Re-entry” and DDC Rule effective May 31st

On April 23rd, the TLC Board voted on a new “Re-entry” rule to allow drivers to reapply before the end of the three year revocation period, if they can show that they have three or less points from the date of the application going back three years.  

The TLC also voted to allow reduction of DMV points even if the Defensive Driving Course was taken after the TLC summons date up to the day of the final TLC hearing.  NYTWA fought hard for these rules, showing TLC over 100 cases where drivers were revoked for three years even if they had zero violations or points between the time of the ticket that lead to the revocation to the TLC revocation hearing.  Ninety percent of the drivers who lost their livelihood had incurred non-hazardous violations, not speeding or red light tickets.  

The new rules go into effect on May 31, 2015.  Spread the word!  Let your friends know they can come to the union office for help with the re-entry application, TLC summonses, and license assessments.  

NYTWA is moving onto phase two, campaigning for progressive suspensions instead of revocations (same right as for CDL holders), no monetary fines along with a suspension or a revocation of the TLC license, a maximum cap on all fines, required warnings before issuing a summons, a revocations settlement policy, and different weight for non-safety and off-duty traffic violations.  Join the Union!  Win the Fight!

Taxi Workers On the Rise! The Fight for Fairness & Full-Time Work. No to the share-the-scraps economy. No to the TNCs.

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 where companies like Uber and Lyft give jobs away to non-professional drivers operating private cars, undercutting taxi drivers’ full-time work.

Taxi drivers across the globe are holding strikes and demonstrations - shutting down highways and airports – to protect the right to full-time jobs!  Not since leasing made us independent contractors and placed the burden of daily debt on our backs have we, a beleaguered, majority immigrant workforce, 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.  51% of Uber drivers have other jobs and earn $15,000/year in supplemental income from driving while full-time drivers are displaced.  No worker wins.  

The companies – rejecting taxi and limo regulatory frameworks – call themselves TNCs (Transportation Network Company), flood city halls and state capitals with lobbyists - 30 in cities with 10 council members – and declare war on a regulated industry which generates revenue through taxes and fees: In NYC, taxis bring in $100 million a year toward the MTA’s budget.  Uber, meanwhile, vows to be cheaper than buses and faster than ambulances.  And when states require higher insurance coverage, they pull out or, in the middle of counting their billions, simply direct people desperate for work to pick up illegally.

For consumers, they offer “God’s View” monitoring – spying on journalists and speculating one night stands, refuse security background checks of drivers, defy the Americans with Disabilities Act, and have an on-off switch for their non-commercial insurance in case of collision – bringing up private insurance rates for all motorists in the state.  And of course, when all else fails, they price surge – gouge loyal customers when they can’t generate volume.  

It’s not the App, it’s the economy.  South Korea has a warrant out for Uber’s CEO.  In 35% of the countries Uber claims to be in, they are in fact considered illegal.  From state to state, country to country, drivers and allies are standing up for fairness & full-time work.  

Report Airport Dispatching Problems

If you have a problem getting dispatched at the airport, please report to us immediately.  The Port Authority is testing out a new RFID Tag based automatic dispatching system at JFK and, once perfected, soon at LaGuardia.  The system is intended to make dispatching smooth and efficient, saving drivers and riders unnecessary wait time, and doing away with the terminal bribes and shake downs.  The TLC is starting its own undercover enforcement against hustlers at JFK and LaGuardia.  We cannot afford a system failure, especially with unprecedented traffic congestion, illegal pick-ups and the loss of out-of-town fares at both airports.  Report dispatching delays and illegal pick-ups!

NY Post (4/18/15): City invests over $1M in illegal cabbie crackdown at LaGuardia
NY Post (11/10/14): High-tech taxi dispatch system fails at JFK Airport

Call the office, stop by, or email us the time, date, airport (JFK or LGA), which lot if LGA or which terminal if JFK, a short description, and your phone number.

Phone *
Phone

ALL DRIVERS General Assembly! May 9th and May 12th

PROTECT OUR FULL-TIME JOBS!
All Drivers General Assembly at NYTWA!

Day Shift: Saturday, May 9th at 10:00am
Night Shift: Tuesday, May 12th at 1:00am (technically Wed morning)

This income loss is just the beginning.  Uber & Lyft world-wide operate ride-for-hire: private drivers with private cars and private insurance pick up fares for hire. They have a bill in Albany to make it legal in NY State.  Their business model is to flood the streets with cars and cut fares and raise them at their own will, killing professional jobs:  51% of Uber drivers are part-time.  Uber set up recruitment in NYC for 10,000 NEW drivers to add to their 14,000 affiliated drivers.  Taxis face unlimited competition & Uber limo drivers are trapped with cars.

NO DRIVERS – yellow, green, black, or livery – WILL BE ABLE TO EARN A FULL-TIME INCOME.
They are killing our profession.  

Come to the meeting to build NYTWA's multi-strategy campaign.  Across the world, millions of taxi drivers are RISING UP with strikes and demonstrations.  

RISE UP NYC DRIVERS!  DEFEND OUR FULL-TIME JOBS!

Both meetings at NYTWA Union Hall: 31-10 37th Ave, Suite 300, Long Island City, Queens.  Subway: N/Q to 36th Ave or R to 36th St.  Parking Available!

Taxi and Black Car Drivers Speak Out on Video of Detective Berating Fellow Driver and Call for Policing Reforms

For Immediate Release:  April 3, 2015
For more information, please contact: Bhairavi Desai: 718-706-9892 or media@nytwa.org

Taxi and Black Car Drivers Speak Out on Video of Detective Berating Fellow Driver and Call for Policing Reforms

Friday, April 3, 2015 at 11:00am
Corner of 31st Street and 7th Avenue, Penn Station

Taxi and Black Car Drivers and community allies rally for systemic changes to NYPD policing of drivers, most recently brought to light in a video where Detective Patrick Cherry was caught berating a black car driver, threatened arrest and summonsed Mr. Humayun for three moving violations.  Detective Cherry was stripped of his badge and gun after the video made by the passengers went viral on social media.  New York Taxi Workers Alliance and United We Stand say they are gathering to tell the story of what happens when there is no video to capture their plight.
 
“In the face of Mr. Humayun, we see the faces of over 100,000 licensed taxi, black, green and livery cab drivers.  The day to day story for drivers is the economic impact that follows racist, humiliating incidents like this.  The driver would go to court over unjustly issued moving violations and be vulnerable to over $1,000 in fines and points on the license.  With just six points, the TLC license is suspended up to 30 days and with 10 or more, the license is revoked and drivers are banned from re-entry for three years.  Hundreds of drivers lose their livelihood every single year because of unfair ticketing for non-safety violations,” said New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.
 
"As drivers we are working long hours for minimal pay to help our families and serve this city.  Unjustified summonses and tickets are constantly being imposed on us. This has to stop,” demanded Syed Armughan, of United We Stand, a black car drivers’ organization.
 
Organizers said they selected Penn Station for their action as it’s especially fraught with unfair ticketing.  “I know drivers who got tickets every time they were here to drop off a fare and some were even revoked because of those tickets.  When the police pull us over all the time, it puts in the public’s mind that drivers are dangerous.  But we are the safest drivers on the street and we are hard-working people.  We look to the police for protection, no one should have to work in fear from them,” said Asim Akhtar who has been driving a taxi for 10 years.
 
The drivers were joined in support by community allies who said the anti-immigrant tirade resonated all too well with the larger South Asian community.  “We want the NYPD to know that the community stands with the workers in this industry and echoes their demand for an end to the harassment and all-too-common demonizing of taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers,” said Ali Najmi, Political Director of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL).

PDF: http://bit.ly/1Ht2qeP

UN Women Dumps Uber Amid Global Union Criticism

BREAKING!

UN Women addresses criticism from NYTWA and other organizations across the world, and rejects a proposed partnership with Uber to “create 1,000,000 jobs for women as drivers on the Uber platform by 2020.”

The National Taxi Workers Alliance quickly developed a joint statement with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and delivered it to UN Women, spurring the organization to act.  

ITF Global (3/20/15): Union outcry forces rejection of Uber ‘women’s jobs’ plan
Radio Labour: Uber makes false promise of one million jobs for women
Press Statement: UN Women + Uber = A Vision for Precarious Work

"I want to assure you that, not only are we listening, we are aligned. And I also want to assure you that UN Women will not accept an offer to collaborate in job creation with Uber."  - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women (3/20/15)

National TWA Joint Statement with ITF Urges UN Women to Reject Partnership with Uber

For Immediate Release: March 12th 2015

UN Women + Uber = A Vision for Precarious Work


NEW YORK On March 10th UN Women and UBER announced a strategic partnership with the goal of accelerating economic opportunity for women. As part of their commitment to this goal, Uber pledge to create 1,000,000 jobs for women as drivers on the Uber platform by 2020.

The global trade unions and civil society supporters of labour rights present at UNCSW59 are deeply concerned by the partnership announced between UN Women and Uber, an American International company that develops, markets and operates a mobile app-based transportation network. This concern is due to the fact that it is far from certain that Uber’s promise to create 1 million jobs will actually promote gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Women’s economic empowerment is dependent on women’s access to decent work – this means fair wages, job security, safety at work, social protection for families, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives, and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.

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