New York, NY – Hundreds of New York Taxi Workers Alliance members – Uber, Lyft, yellow cab, and green cab drivers – rallied on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 on the steps of City Hall. These cab drivers called for an immediate raise to offset record-high inflation. Drivers say they are tired of choosing between food and fuel – living on the edge of crisis.
The union is calling for the TLC to raise the rates drivers earn per mile and minute and cap their leasing expenses so drivers can take home $25/hour, regardless of whether they drive a yellow cab, a green cab for Uber, or Lyft. Drivers are also rallying to call on the City Council to enact protections against “Deactivations”, the fancy Wall Street term for firing workers. Uber and Lyft fire drivers without notice and proper appeal or reason. Drivers are left without a job overnight and can stay in limbo for months while having to pay off vehicle expenses. NYTWA is calling for the City Council to enact “Just Cause” protections for drivers, similar to what the Council passed for fast food workers and what the city of Seattle enacted for Uber and Lyft drivers.
“A bus operator earns more in the first hour on the first day of their job than a yellow cab or Uber driver starting their 10th year. And that’s not even accounting for paid time off, retirement, and other benefits. The sit-com version of this job only served the companies and the city that repressed incomes through the decades and stripped drivers of basic protections. The reality is, that over 90% of drivers work to support families and are dedicated to driving as their only job. They face dangerous conditions, perpetually work overtime, pay for operating expenses just to go to work every day, and are essential to moving our city as they serve one million people every day. We know the value of drivers’ labor and we intend to have it honored,” said NYTWA Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.
The drivers were joined by several legislators:
· City Council MembersAlexa Aviles, Jennifer Gutierrez, Rita Joseph, Christopher Marte, Brooks Powers, and Julie Won;
· State Senator John Liu
· Assembly Members William Colton, Emily Gallagher and Zohran Mamdani.