Thousands of ride-hail drivers signed a petition Thursday calling for an increase in driver pay, according to a New York City-based drivers’ guild.
The Independent Drivers Guild, represents about 60,000 drivers, 45,000 of them in the city, and said 73 percent of New York City drivers who have been in the business at least a year are less financially stable than they were before taking the job.
The petition, which more than 8,000 drivers have signed, proposes a minimum pay raise of 37 percent for drivers of services like Uber and Lyft.
“After offering attractive rates at the outset, Uber and Lyft repeatedly reduced driver pay and hiked their cut of each fare, violating and voiding rider and driver agreements again and again,” said Ryan Price, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “They have slashed the earning potential for drivers dramatically, and redirected the profits from New Yorkers’ labor out of our community and into the coffers of privately held multinational corporations.”
The guild said the raise would translate to a driver taking home about $20 for a $27 UBERx ride, up from the just-over $14 they currently take home for the same ride.
In response to the petition, Uber issued a statement saying the company “is always working to improve the driver experience, most recently through our 180 Days of Change Campaign, which included improvements to earnings like tipping, fees for returned lost items, and extra POOL pick-up fares. We meet with drivers in the Independent Drivers Guild on a regular basis to listen to and discuss issues that matter most to them.”
The guild’s proposal includes a cap on commissions for the companies — which they say would prevent price-gouging — and paying drivers for return trips back to the city.