(New York, NY) Today, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is voting on a minimum pay standard for NYC's app-dispatched drivers. The pay standard is the result of organizing that NYTWA began in 2015 when we first protested against Uber cutting driver pay rates. It is an important step toward solving the crisis hurting drivers in every sector. NYTWA is the only union that has united drivers across all sectors -- Uber, yellow taxi, green cab, black car, and livery -- and that continues to fight for a raise for all drivers.
Eight drivers pushed to suicide by financial despair in the past year
Drivers from every sector, yellow cab, black car, livery and Uber drivers themselves are facing foreclosures, bankruptcies and homelessness at an unprecedented rate
(New York, NY) After eight drivers were pushed to suicide by financial devastation in the past year, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance is calling on City Council to intervene to exempt yellow cabs from congestion pricing. Four of the eight suicides in the past year were yellow cab drivers, three of whom had been sunk into poverty after purchasing their own medallions -- ones a sure route to a middle class income. Among them was yellow taxi owner-driver Roy Kim the most recent driver to die by suicide.
August 14, 2018
(New York, NY) Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign landmark legislation into law to regulates app companies like Uber and Lyft for the first time. The one-year for-hire-vehicle cap is will go into effect immediately. The legislation also gives the Taxi and Limousine Commission the authority to initiate rulemaking on minimum pay rates for app drivers and minimum rates of passenger fare in the for-hire sector. In response to NYTWA's policy proposals,the City Council has also introduced legislation to stop predatory lending to Uber and Lyft drivers just as NYTWA previously won for yellow cab lease drivers, to create an Office of Inclusion to address race-based refusals, to provide financial assistance for struggling owner-drivers, and to create a health and wellness fund for drivers in every sector.
NYTWA members have mobilized nonstop since last November to make this victory possible. Last week, family members of the six drivers who committed suicide joined us for actions leading up to the City Council vote. George Schifter, the brother of black car driver Doug Schifter, who shot himself outside City Hall, flew all the way from Florida to join us for the vote.
NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai released the follow statement:
"Today, New York City is hitting pause on the economic hemorrhaging that has left tens of thousands of immigrant families in chaos and despair. Driver incomes across all sectors have been in a downward spiral as Uber and Lyft flooded our streets. The immediate cap on new For-Hire-Vehicles puts a stop to that. Now, yellow taxi, green cab, black car, livery, Uber and Lyft drivers can finally hope for stability.
"This legislation creates a blueprint for the rest of the world and is a direct result of NYTWA's groundbreaking organizing to unite yellow cab and Uber drivers, as well as green cab, black car, and livery drivers. Through our shared struggle we created NYTWA's policy platform and the legislation being signed into law today stems from our proposals to solve this crisis.
"NYTWA members organized more than 25 actions since November 2017, including 12 demonstrations between February 2018 up to the August 8th City Council vote.
"This is a victory of worker power over Wall Street greed."
(New York, NY) On Wednesday, August 8 the New York City Council voted to enact first-of-its-kind legislation regulating the App-dispatch sector, including Uber and Lyft. NYTWA members have been campaigning non-stop over several months and have been sounding the alarm about the economic crisis among drivers in every sector for years. Six New York City drivers have committed suicide in recent months, unable to survive the crushing poverty brought on by the over saturation of for-hire-vehicles on our streets.
JULY 27, 2018
(New York, NY) On Thursday, July 26, Politico and The New York Times reported that the City Council was moving forward with a bill to cap For-Hire-Vehicles, including cars dispatched by Uber and Lyft, for the first time in the country. Through our unity campaign of yellow cab, green cab, livery, black car, and app-dispatched drivers, NYTWA members have been fighting for this cap for more than three years, holding rallies and marches and spreading the word about the financial crisis that has lead six professional drivers to suicide. Our movement also pushed the City Council to introduce legislation to stop predatory lending in the for-hire sector and authorize a health fund - something NYTWA members won several years ago but which got held up in court by the bosses. Earlier this month, NYTWA won a historic victory for our Uber driver members - the NYS Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board rejected Uber's 11th hour attempt to withdraw their appeal and ruled that three of our Uber driver members and all those similarly situated are employees with rights to unemployment benefits.