Nowadays, it seems impossible to imagine a world where we can’t simply press a “find my ride” button on our smartphone and get from home to work just like that. But it wasn’t too long ago that we relied solely on public transportation and, of course, walking. With the recent rise of ridesharing companies comes an increase in employment for drivers. And as the industry continues to grow, it’s important that we recognize the rights and needs of those drivers. That’s where the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG)– made up of Uber, Lyft, and Via workers united for better conditions– steps in.
IDG is a Machinists Union affiliate that represents over 80,000 For-Hire Vehicle drivers in NYC and advocates for more than 250,000 across NY, NJ, CT and IL. IDG’s movement focuses on putting drivers and their families first by fighting for all drivers’ rights, safety, and wellness. Founded in 2016, IDG has put back over a billion dollars in drivers’ pockets through advocating for a tipping option, $27.86/hr minimum wage, limited benefits, and more. Collective bargaining is key to IDG’s success: In 2019, IDG called for NY state leaders to give drivers the right to bargain. We’re sure ride-share drivers would agree that with ever-changing working conditions, collective bargaining is necessary to have a voice.
Beyond the financial gains for drivers, IDG cares for drivers’ safety, health, and well-being. Before IDG, drivers had no way to communicate with app management. Now NYC Uber and Lyft drivers have the strongest appeal process in the U.S. IDG also has wellness, education, and legal services available to drivers so that they are not only protected economically, but emotionally and socially as well.
Ultimately, IDG moves alongside the ever-changing times and tech to support the people who make the conveniency of ride sharing possible in the first place. IDG strives to shape a culture where drivers have dignity and respect. Let’s help IDG support the drivers we know and love. Want to learn more? Visit www.drivingguild.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.