MAY 2024 NEWSLETTER: UPDATES FROM THE INDEPENDENT DRIVERS GUILD

29 May 2024

Women Behind the Wheel: Join the Independent Drivers Guild’s Virtual National Meet-Up Group for Women Driver

Historically, for-hire vehicle drivers were almost exclusively male. However, thanks to the hard work of pioneering women drivers, that has begun to change. Thousands of women across the United States work as professional for-hire vehicle drivers.

As the nation’s largest for-hire vehicle driver organization, we are proud to elevate the voices of women drivers. Since our founding in 2016 through today, Women drivers have played important roles in guiding the work of the Independent Drivers Guild. It was women drivers who spearheaded our first campaign for restrooms for rideshare drivers at the airports and women drivers have, again and again, delivered some of the most compelling testimony to win important rights and protections for all rideshare drivers.

Are you a woman Uber or Lyft driver looking to connect with other women drivers about the unique challenges in our industry and how we can improve the rideshare industry? Do you have ideas to improve driver safety or tips for other Women drivers? Sign up here to join our new Women Driver Meet-Up Group: Women Behind the Wheel.

We’re launching virtual meetups to bring together women drivers from across the United States to connect, support one another, and share ideas and inspiration for creating a better for-hire vehicle industry for all.

New Jersey Drivers: Join Us at Our Rally on June 26 for Fair Pay and a Fair Driver Deactivation Process

Join us at the Fair Pay and Fair Deactivation Process Rally in New Jersey to demand the respect and security all drivers deserve. On Wednesday, June 26 at 3pm, we will be rallying at Newark City Hall to call for change in New Jersey.  By coming together and raising our voices, we can win the rights we deserve and ensure a fair working environment for all with fair pay and an end to unfair driver deactivations! See you there!

On International Workers’ Day, Rideshare Drivers and Delivery Workers Took Action Across the Country for Fair Treatment

On May 1st, International Workers’ Day, we joined the Justice App Workers Coalition to take action. While most workers have the right to unionize to demand better pay and conditions, app workers were still fighting for that right. In a remarkable display of strength and unity, rideshare and delivery workers organized nationwide strike actions on May 1st to demand justice and accountability from the platforms they serve. The Independent Drivers Guild stood in solidarity with rideshare and delivery workers across the country who took action to advocate for union rights, fair wages, better working conditions, and essential protections.

As drivers continue to face mounting challenges, from declining earnings to safety concerns, the IDG will continue to fight with you to improve rideshare for the better. Together, we sent a powerful message to corporate giants that the exploitation of gig workers would not be tolerated and that we demanded a fair and equitable future for all.

New York Drivers: Get a $25 Amazon Gift Card with Your Free Eye Check and Glasses

Your vision matters! Get rewarded for taking care of your eyes. Complete your eye exam between now and May 31 at a GVS location and receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Enroll in Black Car Fund Drivers Benefits, complete the exam, submit proof, and get your gift card within 2 weeks.

The Independent Drivers Guild fought for NY State drivers to get their benefits through The Black Car Fund’s Drivers Benefits Program. This May, we celebrate Healthy Vision Month for eligible enrolled drivers looking to get no-cost eye exams and free glasses or a 6-month supply of contact lenses.

To learn more about how you can take advantage of these benefits and access free glasses and eye exams, please visit the Drivers Benefits website or reach out to our dedicated support team.

We Thank Women and Mothers of the Independent Drivers Guild

On Mother’s Day, we celebrated not only the cherished mothers in our lives but also the countless women who contribute to the fabric of our communities, including those in the for-hire vehicle industry. The Independent Drivers Guild held a special event in NYC to honor and appreciate these women, recognizing their resilience, dedication, and invaluable contributions to the rideshare sector. We extend our deepest gratitude to all the women who joined us for this meaningful occasion, standing in solidarity to uplift and support one another.

At the heart of our celebration lies a recognition of the unique challenges faced by women drivers in the rideshare industry. From safety concerns to unequal pay and limited access to resources, women encounter a myriad of gender-specific obstacles in their pursuit of fair and dignified work. Through collaborative efforts and advocacy initiatives, the IDG remains steadfast in its commitment to addressing these issues and implementing meaningful change. By amplifying the voices of women drivers and advocating for policies that promote equality and empowerment, we strive to create a more inclusive and equitable environment for all rideshare workers.

IDG NY Soccer and Cricket Tournaments in Full Swing!

Hey, guess what? The Independent Drivers Guild is throwing some awesome soccer and cricket tournaments right here in NYC! It’s a total blast. Take a break from the road grind and just have a good time. Fellow drivers, we all need a break once in a while from the daily hustle. Come and be part of the fun. Register for IDG Soccer here. Let’s score some goals and make some memories together!

Outside NYC and interested in starting your own Drivers Guild sports team? Reach out to your local IDG organizer here.

Driver Spotlight: Meet IDG Illinois Member Andy Luo

Andy Luo began driving with Uber and Lyft in 2016. Reflecting on his early days, he remembers, “It used to be really good money.” However, his journey hasn’t been without significant challenges.

Andy emphasizes the critical role drivers play in the transportation industry. “Without our drivers, they would not be a transportation company. Just because you are CEO does not mean you are above anybody else. They act like they are superior, like they are more important than the drivers. That’s not true. That’s why we need a union. To join together.”

Andy has been fighting with IDG to bring a city ordinance to prevent unfair deactivations in Chicago. “IDG are helpful people. They are working tirelessly to help the drivers. They follow up on cases. I’ve enjoyed working with them. I want to be a member advocate. Because without these drivers, there is no us.”

“We are asking the city to pass deactivation protections. It’s long overdue.” Andy points out the severe impact of sudden deactivations on drivers’ livelihoods. “I was deactivated on both Uber and Lyft before. In Chicago, we have the TNP law that, if one driver gets deactivated on Lyft, they report it to the TNC and then you are deactivated on both platforms. So you are completely out of options! That’s what’s going on over here.”

Andy highlights how the pay structure has deteriorated, especially after the pandemic. “After the pandemic, the pay has dramatically gone way down. We need a fair price for our work.”

Andy strongly believes in the importance of unionization and demanding protections from the city. “We think forming a union and demanding protections from the city are really important. We always say there is no due process. They make false allegations. We talk about the same thing over and over again. Just because some riders have no conscience and want a free ride. Uber and Lyft are not doing a good job protecting drivers’ job security.”

To make ends meet, Andy has diversified his gig work, doing deliveries for DoorDash and working as a volleyball referee. He recalls better times when drivers were treated fairly. “Lyft used to treat drivers so well. They would only take 20% of the trip fee. They are completely exploitative and we are working far below the minimum wage. That’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Andy also criticizes the support systems in place at Uber and Lyft. “Uber and Lyft does absolutely no investigation over there. They don’t accept dash cam evidence from drivers or drug tests if they said to be driving drunk and they want to prove that they were sober.” He adds, “On top of deactivation protections, we are also considering the Uber support and the Lyft support. They are clearly not understanding what we are asking for. It’s not real support. We can do their job 100% better than them. We know what’s going on. That’s why we need a union. They have no interest in solving drivers’ problems. Their job is to get us out as soon as we get in.”

Andy concludes with a call for broader regulatory measures. “It’s bad practice for a multibillion-dollar company to treat us this way. That’s why we need a union. That’s why we need to regulate these companies in all 50 states. We are living in uncharted territory with no protections.

IDG Offers Our Solemn Reflections on Memorial Day

As we commemorate Memorial Day, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by countless individuals who have served our country, some of whom work in rideshare alongside us. Their dedication to principles of justice, freedom, and equality resonates deeply with the ongoing struggle of rideshare drivers represented by the Independent Drivers Guild. Just as Memorial Day prompts reflection on the values we hold dear as a nation, it also serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of standing in solidarity with those who fight for their rights. This Memorial Day, let us recognize the parallels between the struggles of rideshare drivers and the sacrifices of our service members, and let us reaffirm our commitment to securing dignity, fairness, and respect in the workplace.

Get Support

New Jersey Office Hours

New Jersey Independent Drivers Guild
110 Fieldcrest Avenue, 3rd Floor
Edison, New Jersey 08837

Thursday: 9:00AM to 5:00PM
Friday: 10:00AM to 4:00PM

New York Office Hours

IDG’s NYC office is bigger and better than ever! Visit us:

New York Independent Drivers Guild
41-09 36th St #3
Queens, NY 11101

Monday – Friday
Time: 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Until further notice, IDG weekly outreach will now be on Wednesdays at LaGuardia Airport only.

Queens Outreach
LaGuardia Airport

23rd Avenue and 90th Street, Queens, NY 11371
Wednesdays
Time:
 1:00PM – 5:00PM

Massachusetts Office Hours

Caffe Nero
1047 Commonwealth Ave
Boston/Allston

Tuesdays
Time: 11:00AM – 3:00PM

Boston Logan Airport
Tuesdays
Time: 3:30PM – 5:30PM

Boston Logan Airport
Every other Wednesday
Time: 11:30AM – 1:30PM

Connecticut Office Hours

Connecticut Independent Drivers Guild
157 Church St
New Haven, CT 06510

Wednesdays
Time: 10:00AM to 6:00PM

Illinois Office Hours

IL Drivers! Have you visited our office yet? Come in and get support!

Illinois Independent Drivers Guild
114 W Higgins Rd
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Monday – Thursday: 10:00AM to 4:00PM
Friday: 10:00 AM to 2:00PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Not in NJ, CT, IL, MA, or NY? Contact us here to speak with organizers about next steps. Reach out today – let’s organize in your state!

You can now read previous editions of the IDG Member Newsletter here!

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