Uber and Lyft drivers receive a delayed raise after three strikes and a lawsuit in New York
By Levi Sumagaysay
Commission approves rate increase of nearly 9% in fight that has been heated since last year, when companies instituted fuel surcharge
After three driver strikes and a lawsuit, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission on Wednesday approved a raise in rates for tens of thousands of ride-hailing drivers that should begin next week.
Drivers for Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER) and Lyft Inc. (LYFT) had been fighting to increase their pay since last year, when they complained that the ride-hailing companies had enacted fuel surcharges in response to the rising costs of fuel in other places but not New York City. The Taxi and Limousine Commission in November proposed a pay increase for drivers -- in addition to scheduled annual increases -- but Uber sued to block it and a judge agreed that the commission had not included its calculations to show justification for the increase.
According to calculations included in the commission's final proposal, the drivers will receive an 8.78% increase from the rates that were in effect from March 2022 through January 2023, starting Monday.
"I'm excited that we have come to a rule that has worked for everyone," said David Do, commissioner and chair of the commission, during a meeting Wednesday, which was live-streamed.
"We applaud the TLC for heeding the calls of our strike to make the raises a reality," New York Taxi Workers Alliance Executive Director Bhairavi Desai said in a statement Wednesday, though she noted that the raises -- which are not retroactive -- should have been effective in December. "Today, we celebrate our victory, and, today, we keep fighting for more."
Representatives for Uber and Lyft expressed support for the outcome.
"The TLC's proposal includes changes that will ensure fairer competition within our industry," said CJ Macklin, spokesperson for Lyft. "We are appreciative of them listening to our concerns and look forward to continued engagement on ways we can improve ride-share overall."
"The roughly 2.25% one-time increase is more reasonable than what was previously proposed," said Freddi Goldstein, spokesperson for Uber, referring to the percentage increase in pay that the drivers will get from what they are currently receiving. The proposed increase in November would have been higher, Goldstein noted.
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March 09, 2023 08:20 ET (13:20 GMT)
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