IDG New York

Our History

The IDG’s mission to help improve working conditions for drivers, and commitment to their communities reaches back to 2016. Since then, we have enjoyed several successes as a result of our hard work.

2021

  • Right to Bargain: Our fight for the Right to Bargain is the focus of our efforts. This victory would finally give drivers to maintain all the benefits of being independent contractors while being able to stand together to negotiate for the standard of treatment we all deserve. Our mission is to make the app companies treat us fairly as valued workers that they rely on to make a profit.

2020

  • Insurance Petition: We organized a petition calling on insurance companies to allow drivers to buy into lower premium policies without losing their plates. Since drivers can pay more than $6000 for insurance, it can be a huge financial burden if they are not able to work. In total, 11,293 drivers signed the petition.
  • Emergency TLC Hearing: We called on the TLC to address rules imposed by app-based companies that lead drivers down the path of economic ruin.
  • Emergency Relief: We stood together in support of our fellow drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering PPE, assistance getting aid, and sharing information about how to stay safe.
    • PPE Distribution: In the midst of the pandemic, drivers were not provided with any adequate protection. In partnership with the BCF, we filled the gap by distributing over 20,000 PPE kits to all drivers.
  • Right to Bargain: We began our campaign calling for NY legislators to pass drivers’ rights to unionize with a collective sectoral bargaining agreement. This would stop app companies from making unilateral changes to drivers’ livelihood while continuing to allow workers’ comp through the BCF. It would also create unemployment insurance standards that are practical for drivers. It would require a minimum wage, a due process after deactivations, anti-discrimination, and other issues affecting drivers. 
  • Expansion to Chicago: Gig Workers Matter, an organization formed in Chicago,  recognized IDG’s impressive track record and joined forces with us to become IDG Chicago. We launched a safety campaign right away to address the excessive carjackings. To do this we brought app representatives and city officials together to discuss this issue.
  • Lyft at the Table: Taking on billion-dollar app companies to win better pay and improve working conditions has always been at the heart of IDG’s mission. With overwhelming support from drivers, we have worked with Lyft to implement a fair deactivation appeal process and improve working conditions.
  • Regular Meetings With Lyft Management: Drivers won the right to hold meetings with Lyft representatives to discuss issues and demand change, like in-app changes, bonus structure, etc.
  • Lyft Deactivation Appeals: IDG won the only appeal process with Lyft in the US. Drivers can now submit an appeal application if they are unfairly terminated.
  • Benefits for New Jersey Drivers: As we continue to organize and advocate for driver-friendly policies and good working conditions, IDG has secured basic benefits for NJ drivers.

2019

  • Protest Against Uber/Lyft: In the wake of the lockout, a result of the city’s attempt to reduce congestion in the central business district, drivers’ time to cruise/work in that area had been reduced. We led the biggest driver protest in the US that called on Uber, Lyft, Via, and the TLC to address and maintain drivers’ ability to work when we want, where we want.
  • Fair Leasing Campaign: The IDG demanded a stop to the exploitation of FHV drivers by the leasing companies taking advantage of the vehicle cap to increase rental fees.
  • Drivers Bill of Rights: Our bill of rights called for real protection of drivers on the job.
  • Safety Campaign: Driver safety is one of IDG’s top priorities. We launched our safety campaign that called on app companies to implement necessary safety measures, including but not limited to: free dash cams for all drivers, a one-touch 911 or voice-activated emergency call, genuine rider identities, and for app companies to be held liable for assaults on drivers.
  • IDG Drivers Family Day: In honor of drivers and their families, the IDG dedicated a full day of activities to allow drivers to connect with each other while having fun with their families.
  • Expansion to New Jersey and Connecticut: After seeing our success in NY, drivers from other states have requested our assistance. We responded to the call and helped them organize to restore drivers’ rights and dignity on the job.
  • Legal Assistance: Through IDG Legal, drivers get affordable assistance with tickets, accidents, and housing issues without being taken advantage of by attorneys who either charge too much or simply give the wrong advice.
  • Wellness Program: Our new, innovative Mental Health and Wellness Program supports drivers in times of stress and crisis. The one-of-a-kind program seeks to de-stigmatize mental health and takes a holistic approach to wellness by providing free counseling services and classes to address and prevent crisis situations.
  • May 8th Rally against Uber IPO: In coordination with all the driver groups in the US, we led the NY protest to address the wealth gap between drivers that are barely getting by and the big app corporations that keep exploiting and ignoring workers.
  • Co-op Project: The IDG created a cooperative council to research projects aimed at bringing drivers’ costs down and map out sustainable alternatives that give better opportunities for drivers.
  • Congestion Tax: We called on the city to repeal the unfair congestion tax which adds an extra financial burden on the backs of FHV drivers.

2018

  • Defeated 838A:  We stopped the City Council motion to charge drivers a $2,000 yearly operating license fee and limit them to one app.
  • Pay Floor: We won the first minimum wage for drivers in the US. At $27.86/hr., drivers in NY made over $500,000 million in the first six months after the passage of this law. The pay floor ensures drivers will not suffer from pay cuts regularly set by the apps.
  • Community Outreach: As a part of our community outreach efforts, we launched a mobile vision clinic where drivers can get their eyes checked, and get free glasses on the spot. While they’re at the clinic, we look into any deactivation appeals they might have, and assist them with other industry-related concerns right in the comfort of their community,
  • Drivers Benefits: In partnership with the Black Car Fund, drivers can take a defensive driving course and get paid $300. They also get free telemedicine, dental coverage, free prescription discounts, and access to a range of other health and lifestyle resources.
    • 5-Star Classes: IDG won the right to reactivate drivers removed from an app due to low ratings through their completion of the 5-Star Class. As a  result, we have given thousands of drivers their job back.
    • DDC Classes: Our Defensive Driving Course helps drivers protect themselves on the road. This class reduces points on your license and saves drivers 10% off of their insurance.
    • Chauffeur Classes: App companies do not prepare drivers for the job, IDG does. We developed this course to teach drivers tips of the trade, and how to prevent deactivation.

2017

  • Pay Campaign: We gathered 16K signatures to address regular pay cuts from app companies and to advocate for a decent living wage.
  • Bathrooms: IDG recognized the need for access to bathrooms in the city and at all major airport staging areas. We waged a fight to address this lack of a  basic necessity, which posed a health hazard.
  • Relief Stands: There are only 19 relief stands in Manhattan for over 80,000 drivers. We addressed the need for more areas for drivers to park for a break without getting a ticket with TLC and DOT.
  • Deadhead Pay: With an abundance of out-of-town trips, drivers lose money on return trips. We urged app companies to pay drivers when they are returning to the city from certain trips.

2016

  • Tipping: A victory won through the TLC that put over $1 billion dollars into drivers’ pockets
  • Works Council: IDG has won meetings with Uber management to accomplish further goals
    • We secured job protection for drivers through developing a unique appeals process with Uber.
    • $1 raise to the minimum fare,
    • Destination filter in the app,
    • NYC Uber Black/SUV drivers can now reject low-cost UberX and Uber pool rides without being penalized.
    • Group insurance including a $25,000 death benefit provided by the IDG on top of the $50,000 by the Black Car Fund.

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