April 2023 Newsletter: Drivers are fighting back across the country!
Uber CEO Says He’s Tried Driving; Has Dara Khosrowshahi Tried Living Off Our Income?
In recent reports, Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, claimed to have gone undercover as an Uber driver to understand the issues drivers face. But if he thinks that driving a couple of times for the platform makes him an expert on the struggles that Uber and Lyft drivers face, he is mistaken. Sure, he may have dealt with rude passengers and cruised around in a fancy Tesla, but he has no idea what it’s really like to try to survive on the meager earnings that drivers make. As reported by CNBC, many drivers earn as little as $5 an hour, leaving us struggling to pay rent and feed our families. It’s time for Khosrowshahi to wake up and take action, starting with raising pay-per-ride rates so that drivers can actually earn a decent living wage.
Coming Soon: IDG Florida! Drivers Organizing in the Sunshine State
We want to extend our warmest congratulations to all Florida drivers on the upcoming launch of Florida IDG, and for joining the Independent Drivers Guild. This is a major achievement for drivers in Orlando and beyond, improving your fight to win wage increases, benefits, and the right to unionize. Joining IDG provides drivers with a platform to advocate for themselves and their fellow drivers, and offers access to a range of resources, including legal services, insurance, and financial planning. With the launch of Florida IDG, drivers now have a strong voice in advocating for their rights, and a community of support to help them navigate the challenges of working for ride-sharing companies. Once again, congratulations to all Florida drivers for taking this important step forward!
Connecticut IDG Hosts Wellness Program to Help Relieve Stress for Drivers and Their Families
The Connecticut Independent Drivers Guild hosted a Wellness Program this month to provide mental health support to drivers and their families. The event was aimed at helping drivers relieve stress and manage the difficulties of their job. As we all know, being a driver is not an easy task, and it can be stressful for both the driver and their family. The IDG recognized this issue and decided to help out by providing free mental health support to get through difficult days. Programs like this provide drivers and their families with the opportunity to learn new strategies to manage stress and anxiety. The event was a great success. Great work CT IDG!
Illinois Drivers are Fighting for Deactivation Protections: Read the Opinion Piece from our Brother Emilio Ugalde
We urge everyone to read and share Chicago driver Emilio Ugalde’s opinion piece about Illinois drivers fighting for deactivation protections. Emilio’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance of supporting drivers in their fight for fair treatment by ride-sharing companies. As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, Emilio, who is disabled, was unfairly deactivated from his driving platform, leaving him without a source of income. This is an all too common experience for drivers, which is why the Independent Drivers Guild is committed to stopping the unfair deactivation of good app drivers throughout the country.
By sharing Emilio’s story and the article, we can help support Chicago drivers in their efforts to pass protections through the Chicago City Council and get Emilio reinstated. No one deserves to lose their income overnight, and it’s critical that we stand with drivers in their fight for fair treatment.
Drivers Continue to Push Right-to-Union Legislation in MA
The Rideshare Drivers Justice Bill is gaining momentum in Massachusetts, and drivers are making significant progress in their fight for fair wages, better working conditions, and a union for Uber and Lyft drivers. Thanks to our tireless efforts, the bill is racking up more sponsors and lobbying continues at the State House every week. Recently, the Drivers Demand Justice Coalition mailed out a detailed newsletter explaining the actions drivers have taken throughout the month, providing more information about the bill, and highlighting the amazing sponsors and coalition groups backing the bill. Massachusetts drivers are successfully on their way to winning a union for Uber and Lyft drivers, and it’s inspiring to see the progress they are making. We must continue to support Massachusetts IDG’s efforts to secure fair treatment for all rideshare drivers.
Driver Spotlight: Meet Massachusetts IDG Member Bethlehem Tfegaye
Bethlehem Tsegaye has been driving for Uber for 10 years. She is fighting for the Rideshare Driver Justice Bill in Massachusetts with IDG because she says she needs a voice on the job. “I have been protesting in support of this legislation with my fellow drivers for months and have been hoping for a bill like this for years. I usually work 60 to 70 hours a week. It wasn’t always like that. But over the past few years, I’ve had to work longer hours to make the same money I used to make in less time. As a mother with three children, I want to be able to afford to spend time with my family.”
“Driving is my livelihood. It’s my career. But rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft don’t have to provide us with basic workplace protections like workers’ compensation, minimum wage protections, unemployment insurance, and most importantly, the right to a union. And they’re actively trying to silence our voices in Massachusetts and across the country, so we remain unable to organize a union. So I’m going to keep fighting until our bill passes. My family can’t wait.”
Happy Ramadan from the Independent Drivers Guild
To all our Independent Drivers Guild members, we would like to extend our warmest wishes for a happy and blessed Ramadan. This month is a time for self-reflection, prayer, and spending time with loved ones. We appreciate the hard work and dedication you bring to the roads every day, and we hope that this holy month brings you a renewed sense of purpose and strength. This Eid al-Fitr, we also want to wish you a joyful celebration with your families and loved ones. May this time of spiritual renewal and togetherness bring you closer to your faith and your families. Eid Mubarak from the Independent Drivers Guild.
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
Days: Monday – Friday
Time: 10AM – 4PM
Until 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 – 5PM
New Jersey Office Hours
New Jersey Independent Drivers Guild
154 Ridge Road
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Time: From 10AM to 2PM
Connecticut Office Hours
Connecticut Independent Drivers Guild
157 Church St
New Haven, CT 06510
Time: From 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
Monday – Thursday 9:30AM to 7PM
Friday 9:30 AM to 2 PM
Saturday – 11AM to 4 PM
Sunday- Appointment Only
Massachusetts Office Hours
1047 Commonwealth Ave
Tuesdays from 11AM – 3PM
Boston Logan Airport
Tuesdays from 3:30PM – 5:30PM
Boston Logan Airport
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!