November 2022 Newsletter: We know the holidays can be challenging. Stick with IDG!
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As We Prepare for Holiday Expenses, IDG Drivers Keep up the Fight for Higher Wages!
The start of the holiday season is joyful, but also stressful. Many of us drivers worry about whether we can afford the meals, gifts, and time off with family and friends that so many enjoy this time of year.
We all want the peace and security of knowing we can support our families when they need us most. That’s what our thousands of IDG drivers are fighting for every day – fair wages for the hard work we do all year long. After years of advocacy by the IDG, rideshare drivers in New York City just won an increase to minimum driver pay, raising the minimum per mile pay by 23.93% and per minute pay by 7.42%. We’re proud of what we’ve already won together, from a higher minimum wage in NYC, to a tipping option on driver platforms, to deactivation support that has brought thousands of drivers back to work. We won’t stop fighting until all drivers can finally make enough money to live a better life!
What We Can Win When We Unite: New Disability Benefit for New York IDG Members
We’re excited to announce that eligible drivers enrolled in Drivers Benefits now have access to one of the most requested benefits among Black Car and Rideshare drivers in New York. Starting this month, The Black Car Fund has expanded the Drivers Benefits program to include a no-cost Accident Disability Insurance Plan that covers accidents that happen outside of work. This benefit provides eligible, enrolled drivers with monthly payments for up to a year if they are injured and become disabled due to a covered accident while NOT working – whether they are at home, at play, or even in-between fares! Please click here for full details and if you are not already enrolled in Drivers Benefits, sign up today.
The wins that our flagship chapter in New York has achieved would not have been possible without thousands of drivers joining IDG and increasing the power we have to negotiate with lawmakers and tech giants like Uber and Lyft. That is why, to make further strides possible all across the country, we are calling on you to invite two drivers you know to join IDG. If you are in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, or New York, share these links with your fellow drivers so they can join our fight for better wages, protections, and benefits. Together, we can keep the wins coming.
New Jersey and Connecticut IDG Give Drivers and their Families a Halloween Treat
As an appreciation to drivers and their families, New Jersey and Connecticut IDG held Halloween celebrations. In New Jersey, fellow rideshare drivers came together to enjoy great food, music, drinks, and a best costume prize for the kids. In Connecticut, IDG members and their families enjoyed a Trunk or Treat candy giveaway. Thank you to all the Uber and Lyft drivers who came out to enjoy the spooky season with IDG!
New York IDG Speaks Out Against an Unfair Congestion Tax on Drivers. Join the Fight and Sign Our Petition!
IDG is fighting in every way possible so that rideshare drivers will not be taxed twice under New York’s newest congestion pricing plan. Recently, several IDG drivers stood up for all of us when they testified before the MTA’s Traffic Mobility Review Board. In his testimony, IDG Organizing Director Aziz Bah reminded leaders that “it is the drivers who will ultimately pay in significantly fewer trips and lower compensation.” When drivers’ jobs are threatened, IDG members show up and speak out!
This proposed second tax on rideshare drivers would devastate the livelihoods of thousands of hardworking immigrants and take away affordable transportation options from New Yorkers. We need to continue fighting to ensure rideshare drivers are completely exempt from a second congestion tax. Make sure New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the MTA, and all our state leaders hear your voices. Sign and share our petition today!
Massachusetts IDG Says No More Unfair Deactivations!
Yasir Elawad gave over 35,000 rides with a nearly perfect rating until he was suddenly deactivated from the Uber platform. So, he turned to Massachusetts IDG for support. Members stuck by Yasir and now, he is fighting to get his job back and telling his story. Together, we can change the apps’ unfair deactivation systems and keep good drivers on the road, providing for our families. That’s why MA IDG has made fighting for fair deactivation systems their focus of the fall and winter seasons. They invite all MA drivers to share their deactivation stories HERE, so we can keep the pressure on the app companies to hear our voices!
That’s not all MA IDG has done this month to make their members’ lives better. MA organizers also took the initiative to work with Community Labor United to apply for a local government grant for gas support to weather this year’s devastatingly high gas prices. With that grant, MA IDG was able to provide $2,500 in gas cards for dozens of drivers.
Stay Safe This Fall. Get Your Free Flu Shots at Walgreens and Duane Reade!
We know that drivers can’t afford to get sick this fall and winter. That’s why IDG is proud to offer free flu shots to keep you on the road and providing for your families!
All verified IDG members and Drivers Benefits members in New York have received a free flu shot voucher in their email, which can be redeemed at any participating Walgreens or Duane Reade. If you can’t find your voucher, make sure you check your spam folder. For more help, call us at 866-471-3603. Drivers who are not yet verified members of IDG (CT, IL, MA, NJ) or Drivers Benefits (NY) should visit driversguild.org/free-flu-shots for further details.
Driver Spotlight: Meet Connecticut IDG Member Laila Belly
Laila Belly has been driving with Uber for over 7 years. As one of the first female Uber drivers in Connecticut, she has seen drastic changes in less than a decade. Originally from Ghana, Laila supports two children with her husband. Raising a 4-year-old and a 14-year-old has not been easy while working overtime for Uber.
“I’m often working 80 hours a week. You used to be able to make that in 40 hours but it’s gotten so much worse. There is no work-life balance. You’re driving 20 minutes for $4.” It’s an unsustainable struggle and one of the main reasons Laila decided to join IDG.
“The percentage has gone up that Uber is taking from each ride. It’s almost 50, 60 percent of our earnings. We are basically working for free.” On top of Uber cutting into her earnings, Laila still has to cover all the expenses for her vehicle. “I have a 2018 Honda Santa Fe. Over just three months, I’ve put 30,000 miles on my car. I know it comes with the job but if the job pays for it, then you’re ok. The wages are not matching what we are doing.” And at the same time, life is becoming more expensive. “Everything is going up. Rent is going up. Everything is going up except for the wages.”
To fight for the changes drivers desperately need, Laila was happy she found IDG this year. “I like what I see because we have a plan. I think Uber wants us to give up. But what I like about joining IDG is the fact that we have somebody else. Finally, there is a person we can actually talk to.”
IDG Wishes You and Your Family a Happy Thanksgiving!
Here at IDG, we hope you’re surrounded with the love of your families this festive season. We celebrate your hard work this time of year, and all year long. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
New York Office Hours & Weekly Outreach
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, 10AM – 4PMUntil further notice, IDG weekly outreach will now be on Wednesdays at LaGuardia Airport only.
23rd Avenue and 90th Street, Queens, NY 11371
Wednesdays from 1PM – 5PMNew Jersey Office Hours
NJ Drivers! We’re here to help you! Come see us at our New Jersey office.
New Jersey Independent Drivers Guild
154 Ridge Road
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Time: 10AM to 2PM
Connecticut Office Hours
CT Drivers! IDG is here to help. Join us at our Connecticut office.
Connecticut Independent Drivers Guild
157 Church St
New Haven, CT 06510
Time: 10AM to 6PM
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
Days and Hours:
Monday – Thursday 9:30AM to 7PM
Friday 9:30 AM to 2 PM
Saturday – 12PM to 5 PM
Sunday- Appointment Only
Massachusetts Office Hours
MA Drivers! We are always here to help you. Visit us on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Every other Wednesday from 11:30AM – 1:30PM
Not in CT, IL, MA, NJ, 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!