September 2022 Newsletter: Our fight continues!

In Honor of Labor Day, We Vow to Fight on for Higher Wages, Safety, and the Right to Form a Union! 

We are proud to be a united coalition of rideshare drivers battling Uber and Lyft every day in order to win the rights that we deserve. Over the past few months, our chapters across the country have celebrated numerous victories – and we’re not slowing down! 

Because of you, our voices continue to be heard. We won’t stop until rideshare drivers have the right to form a union to secure higher pay, a fair deactivation appeals process, safer working conditions, and more. Thank you, IDG family, and we hope you had a safe and happy Labor Day!

NY IDG members with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at the 2022 NYC Labor Day Parade

Don’t Tax Us TWICE: IDG Members Fight for Crucial Rideshare Exemption on Congestion Tax in New York

When our livelihoods are at stake, IDG drivers fight back! New York IDG members recently joined our Justice for App Workers coalition partners in a rally against a second congestion tax that would threaten the jobs of thousands of New York City drivers. Hundreds of IDG drivers and allies gathered outside of transportation authority headquarters to send a clear message: rideshare drivers can’t afford more taxes and fees!

The proposed plan would add a second tax to NYC rideshare drivers, who have already been paying congestion fees since 2019. Fares in Manhattan could go up by as much as $23 – putting rideshare costs out of reach for many New Yorkers who depend on us for transportation, and eliminating the jobs of thousands of hardworking, immigrant drivers.

NY IDG members are standing strong against this wrongheaded policy by calling on State leaders to ensure that rideshare drivers are exempt from new congestion fees. Our petition already has thousands of signatures! If you haven’t already, please sign IDG’s petition today and share widely:

And you can read and share this great article by organizing director Aziz Bah on the unfair double tax on rideshare here!    

From the East Coast to the Midwest, IDG Drivers are Mobilizing!

Can you hear that? That’s the sound of drivers organizing for what we deserve! Our IDG chapters have been on a roll all summer, letting Uber and Lyft know that rideshare drivers are united and demanding a union.

In August, the Massachusetts Independent Drivers Guild led a protest caravan to the state capitol to let lawmakers know that rideshare and delivery drivers need legislation now that will allow Massachusetts drivers the fundamental right to form a union. Watch and share the inspiring highlight video of the MA IDG caravan here. 

The Illinois Independent Drivers Guild also took part in the first-ever Chicago GigFest last month. While enjoying free food and fun, rideshare and delivery drivers and their families celebrated the launch of the new Justice for App Workers Illinois chapter! IL IDG is proud to stand with over 20,000 Justice for App Workers members to change this industry together. IL IDG organizer Lenny Sanchez said it best – watch and share here!

As we kick off the fall season, our IDG chapters are also ensuring that your families have the support you need. CT IDG has been assisting rideshare drivers with back-to-school supplies. On September 1st, Connecticut IDG helped drivers and their families get ready for the school year by giving away free backpacks at Bradley Airport in CT. Being a part of IDG means we always have your back!

Driver Spotlight: Meet New York IDG Member Arifa Tirmizi

Arifa Tirmizi started driving for Uber in June 2016 to support her family. “I have 7 kids. One of my children has a complex disability and needs a wheelchair, so flexibility is incredibly important. Working in the evenings, I have more time to be with my kids during the day.” 

“I think IDG has done an excellent job. I initially met with them in 2016. I remember Sohail and Mary Grace coming up to me one late evening in the lot. They explained to me what they do. ‘You should come to one of our meetings.’ I asked if they would be able to accommodate my kids and my disabled child and they said yes, so I came. They did more than accommodate them, they fed my kids! And kept them occupied so I could pay attention to the meeting.” 

“One time, when I was driving in Long Island, I got two unfair tickets from TLC. I talked to IDG about it and they made Uber pay for those tickets just from sending one email! I knew then that I needed to be part of this so I could help drivers too.”

“In 2019, IDG fought for bathrooms in the FHV lots at the airports. They gave us dignity. They also designated a place for prayer at the JFK lot. They are clean. I do not feel hesitant or unsafe. This is all thanks to IDG.”  

Tirmizi wants to see more change to improve the lives of drivers. “The percentage Uber deducts from drivers is obnoxious. Sometimes 48% to 51% of our fare. It fluctuates. I would like this to be controlled. Because we never know how little we will walk away with.” She also wants to see a cap on how much companies can charge to rent TLC plates, to save drivers from predatory practices. 

“Some drivers don’t realize what we can win with IDG. It’s unfortunate because they want to see things right away. We will see results faster if we put in our time and effort when IDG needs us. They are not biased. They are very diverse. And their organizers are just a phone call away. So hat’s off and salute to IDG.”

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! 

From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with our IDG family! All year round, we are proud to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic Americans and immigrants who continue to positively shape our society every day. We recognize all of our hard-working Hispanic members who are supporting yourselves and your families – all while fighting for fair pay and benefits for all drivers. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Ending Summer the Right Way – With our Families and our IDG Family

Thank you to everyone who attended a local IDG family day! We are happy to end our summer celebrating you and your families with a day filled with fun, connection, and relaxation. IDG is not just a driver-led coalition – we are a family that welcomes and supports one another. We hope you and your families enjoyed yourselves, and we look forward to celebrating you all again soon!  

Get Support

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.

Queens Outreach
LaGuardia Airport
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

When: Thursdays
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

When: Wednesdays
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.

Caffe Nero
1047 Commonwealth Ave

When: Tuesdays
Time: 11AM – 3PM

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

Boston Logan Airport
When: Every other Wednesday
Time: 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!