Independent Drivers Guild Calls for Drivers’ Bill of Rights and to Abolish the Failing TLC
Uber/Lyft Drivers Protest TLC Failures, Inaction on Abuses and Pay Shortfall
New York, NY — Uber and Lyft Drivers with the Independent Drivers Guild rallied at City Hall this morning to call for a Drivers Bill of Rights ahead of a City Council oversight hearing regarding the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). Citing the Commission’s failure to protect the livelihoods of thousands of for-hire vehicle drivers, the Drivers Guild called on the city to abolish the TLC and create a new modern agency with more City Council oversight. City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez and Council Member Rafael L. Espinal Jr. joined the Guild for the rally for drivers rights and called for reorganization of the TLC.
“Drivers are dying, families are going bankrupt. How many lives must be destroyed, how many drivers must we lose to suicide before we see change? It’s time for reform, tear down the failing Taxi and Limousine Commission and start over. Today we are calling for the TLC to be abolished,” said Independent Drivers Guild Executive Director Brendan Sexton. “Make no mistake about it, this is an emergency.The TLC failed to act in a timely manner on the taxi medallion crisis and now they are failing to act with regard to the app-based industry. As the TLC turns Uber and Lyft into another failed medallion system, tens of thousands of families across our city are already paying the price.”
The Drivers Guild led a years long campaign to win landmark minimum wage pay rules for app-based drivers in New York City, but pay and enforcement are falling short. The city rules were supposed to increase pay for 80,000 drivers by $10,000 per year but the city’s own data says pay is falling $4,000 short of the minimum wage target.
New TLC rules further threaten app-based drivers’ livelihoods, including rules to ban rooftop ads for for-hire vehicles which could raise wages by $3,600 per year and extending the vehicle cap, which has left thousands of drivers stuck saying paying more to rent a vehicle than it would cost to own. IDG has long called for limits on new drivers rather than capping vehicles. Limiting drivers makes the workers more valuable to companies and apps would be forced to compete with better pay and working conditions. Limiting vehicles increases expenses by thousands of dollars per year for thousands of low income drivers.
The Guild called for the City Council to step in and protect drivers with a drivers’ bill of rights.