February Newsletter: Updates from the Independent Drivers Guild

29 Feb 2024

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Drivers Fight Back! First National Uber and Lyft Strike led by Justice for App Workers, the Independent Drivers Guild, and Allies

Drivers across the United States decided to take Valentine’s Day off this year! Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers are tired of being mistreated by the app companies. Sick of working 80 hours a week just to make ends meet, being constantly scared for our safety, and worrying about being deactivated with the click of a button, drivers decided to go on strike on February 14!

Across the country, in cities like Austin, Chicago, Hartford, Miami, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, and Tampa, drivers did not take rides to or from any airport. They went on strike and told the app companies that “WE AREN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!”

Thank you to all the drivers who participated in the strike and told Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and all the app companies profiting off our hard work that we deserve to be treated fairly and compensated fairly. Share our recent post of the strike and follow us on Twitter to make sure you stay up to date on important news and events.

As a Rideshare Driver, You May Be Eligible for the Self Employment Tax Credits (SETC)

Navigating the complexities of tax credits can be daunting, especially when it comes to COVID-19-related sick or family leave between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021. If you were in this situation and did not receive unemployment compensation during that period, you may be eligible for the Self Employed Tax Credits (SETC). The potential benefits are substantial, and depending on your net earnings in 2020 and 2021, you could qualify for significant tax credits through SETC. Learn more at our free informational Zoom meeting:

Date: March 7th
Time: 12pm ET / 11am CT
Link:https://drivingguild-org.zoom.us/j/82964661997

Recognizing the challenges in the application process, we are collaborating with Horizon Funding and Quantifi Tax, our trusted partners, to provide discounted one-on-one assistance to drivers who would like assistance applying for SETC. Having successfully worked with Horizon Funding in the past for PPP loans, we are excited to join forces again to streamline the SETC application process for our members.

Time is of the essence, as the deadline to submit your application for the 2020 credit is April 15, 2024. To check your eligibility, fill out our intake form, and a Quantifi Tax representative will contact you within 48 hours. Qualified individuals can then take advantage of a discounted rate for application fees and charges, exclusive to IDG members.

Before filling out the intake form, make sure to note any days you were not working due to COVID-related circumstances, confirm non-overlapping unemployment records for the same period, and gather your tax returns for 2019, 2020, and 2021, along with any relevant W-2s. It’s crucial to exclude days on unemployment, as they do not qualify for this program and may pose a liability during an audit.

For more information and to initiate the application process, please visit us online at https://driversguild.org/setccredit/ or call us at 833-452-2088.

New York Area Rideshare Drivers: New Hearings on Congestion Pricing are Coming. Testify & Ensure Drivers are Protected

As members of the Independent Drivers Guild, we stand united in our commitment to ensuring that the interests of drivers are adequately represented in the ongoing discussions surrounding congestion pricing in New York City. The implementation of congestion tolls has the potential to significantly impact our livelihoods, and it is crucial that our voices are heard to prevent any unfair taxation that may disproportionately affect us. Let’s make sure drivers are protected: Sign up to testify now.

Use the links below to register:

You can also call the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777. Telephone agents are available daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Need assistance signing up to testify or preparing testimony? IDG is here to help. Click here to get help signing up to testify from IDG. We’re happy to help get your voice heard!

We urge each and every driver to actively participate in the process by submitting congestion toll comments and signing up to testify or attend hearings. Your firsthand experiences on the road are invaluable in shaping the decisions that will ultimately impact our daily lives. By coming together and advocating for fair and just policies, we can ensure that our concerns are taken into account, and the burden of congestion pricing is distributed equitably. Submit your comments, sign up to testify, and let’s make sure our voices are heard on the future of congestion pricing in New York City.

Staying Vigilant: Important Safety Tips for Rideshare Drivers

A recent string of distressing incidents have targeted drivers in the Austin area on Chicago’s west side, and other states around the country. We mourn the tragic loss of two Illinois drivers in December and send our heartfelt wishes for the swift recovery of another driver currently in critical condition after a recent IL carjacking attempt. As we continue to advocate for the app companies to implement systemic changes to address the safety and well-being of drivers on a larger scale, it’s crucial we also take proactive measures in these times of heightened risks.

To safeguard yourself, please join us in heeding these essential safety precautions whenever you’re on the road:

1. Stay vigilant for groups of young men dressed in all-black attire, especially hoodies and masks, and do not engage if confronted.
2. Utilize a dash cam as a deterrent, consider removing identifying stickers or logos, and keep a spare set of keys hidden discreetly.
3. For added security, have a ‘bunk’ wallet containing expired cards and IDs to surrender if necessary, while keeping your real wallet concealed.
4. Be prepared to release your seatbelt swiftly if you sense danger when passengers enter your vehicle.
5. Never fight for your vehicle. If someone wants to take your vehicle, let them. Your car is not worth your life.

Your safety matters! We urge everyone to prioritize precautionary measures during these challenging times.

New York Drivers: Medical Benefits Are Available, Get Connected

New York Drivers! If you haven’t yet, make an effort to elevate your well-being with exclusive health benefits. Through our partnership with Black Car Fund Health Benefits, IDG members have access to first-rate benefits. Join IDG today to be a part of a driver community that will fight for you! Visit bit.ly/JoinNYIDGToday.

river Spotlight: Meet IDG Florida Member Jonathan Cruz

Jonathan Cruz has worked as a rideshare driver for over 7 years. He started in New York and eventually moved down to Florida. Since starting, Jonathan says driving has become an unlivable profession. “Driving is no longer a flexible job. The pay has gotten so bad, I’m driving 60 to 70 hours a week and we’re barely getting by. That’s why I’m on strike today,” said Cruz. His wages support his 3-year-old son.

Cruz recently joined the Justice for App Workers Valentine’s Day Strike because he believes it’s time for drivers to get organized to finally improve our pay and treatment across the country. We’re so proud of Jonathan and the thousands of drivers and delivery workers across the US, Canada, and the UK who went on strike on February 14. Together, we can continue to demand the fair pay and fair treatment that app workers deserve!

We are Proud to Celebrate Black History Month: Independent Drivers Guild Remembers Our Shared Struggle

As we celebrate Black History Month, it’s essential to recognize our interconnected struggles for justice and equality. This month, we draw parallels between the historical fight for Black liberation and the ongoing challenges faced by rideshare drivers. The struggle for fair wages, safety, and dignity in the gig economy mirrors the broader quest for equality that has defined the history of marginalized communities. By acknowledging the shared experiences of drivers, we honor the resilience and determination that underpin both the civil rights movement and the contemporary fight for workers’ rights. Let us use this month not only to reflect on the past but also to unite in solidarity, understanding that the pursuit of justice knows no boundaries.

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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

NEW: File for NYC Back Pay

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has announced a settlement with Uber & Lyft th...Show More

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has announced a settlement with Uber & Lyft that will provide millions of dollars in back pay for certain drivers as well as new benefits, including sick pay, for all current NY Uber and Lyft drivers.

Learn More Here