Contents:

5 min read

    5 min read

    Do you ever wonder how Uber decided to add in-app tipping? Hint: it wasn’t out of the goodness of their hearts. It took driver action to get in-app tipping added to the Uber app, and some help from a Guild out of New York City known as the Independent Drivers Guild. Today, I speak with Ryan Price, Executive Director of IDG about what IDG does, how it helps drivers, and how drivers can get involved on the local level. 

    I speak with Ryan Price, Executive Director of IDG about what IDG does, how it helps drivers, and how drivers can get involved on the local level. 

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    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

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    Intro

    • If you’ve been driving for some time, you’ve probably seen one or more rate cuts for drivers
    • In the past, there wasn’t a lot of recourse for drivers
    • That seems to be changing with the Independent Driver’s Guild (IDG)
    • Today we’ll be speaking with Ryan Price, Executive Director of the IDG
    • IDG took the lead in proposing in-app tipping in New York, which has now rolled out across the country
    • Don’t forget to track your mileage, because it’s tax deductible! I recommend Stride Drive – Stride tracks more than just mileage, too, including car washes, air fresheners and more write-offs at tax time
    • Mystro helps automate your Uber and Lyft driving, like a virtual assistant for rideshare drivers. It’s a safer way to manage rideshare driving, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel

    What is the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG)?

    • Independent Driver’s Guild is a machinist union affiliate that represents over 45,000 for hire vehicle drivers in New York City
    • IDG is the first non-profit labor organization to negotiate a seat at the table with rideshare companies and the first to offer new protections and benefits to workers
    • Goal is to build a more fair for hire vehicle industry
    • Represents all for-hire workers, not just Uber and Lyft drivers

    History of the IDG

    • The machinist union has been organizing in New York City since 1998
    • Because the union has been around for such a long time, it had more bargaining power by the time Uber showed up
    • Based in and focused on NYC right now, since NYC has more regulations than most – can do things at the local level vs. the state level like in other states

    IDG Campaigns

    • IDG sent out a survey to members, members said tipping was their number one issue
    • Gather 11,000 signatures to petition Uber to add in-app tipping, took it to Uber. Uber didn’t really care
    • IDG gathered drivers and had them call and email the Taxi and Limousine Commission until a formal request was made to add an in-app tipping regulation in NYC
    • Now it’s a law in NYC that all for-hire rides must have a tipping option

    IDG in the Future

    • Goal is for workers to be front and center leading change, IDG will provide resources and training for those drivers looking to be the ‘face’
    • New York is a unique market because of the regulations, requirements, and expense for drivers – most drivers in NYC are full-time by necessity
    • IDG provides classes to drivers on driving, going through the regulation process, and organizing drivers into a community
    • Being a driver can be isolating, so part of the goal is also to connect drivers with one another

    Membership in IDG

    • Currently represent all Uber drivers in NYC, in NYC people can join the union by becoming a dues paying member ($18 a month)
    • The East Coast is covered by the machinist union, West Coast covered by Teamsters union
    • IDG is a non-profit but they want the same things as unions do for drivers: better pay and things that drivers care about
    • Drivers don’t have to join a union to organize – IDG wants to help drivers organize and get together to advocate for better conditions, but you don’t have to join a union to do so

    How Can You Get Involved in Your City/Town?

    • Just start organizing – talk to people while in you’re waiting lines, join Facebook groups. Just start. Talk to people face-to-face
    • Find things you have in common with other drivers, like the tipping issue, and come together behind improving that
    • Not every driver is going to want the same things, but there are a few things we all agree on – rally behind that

    More Information on IDG

    Outro

    • While IDG is based out of NYC, there are a lot of things Ryan talked about today that we agree on – we have to find driver commonalities and work together if we want anything to change
    • RSG tries to be a platform for drivers to talk about things they want to see, how the apps and driving experience could be improved, etc. But in the end, drivers have to unite and demand change – take what you’ve learned from this episode and think about how you would get involved (if you want to)
    • Quarterly taxes are coming up! Make sure to track your milage with Stride Drive – Stride tracks more than just mileage, too, including car washes, air fresheners and more write-offs at tax time
    • Mystro helps automate your Uber and Lyft driving, like a virtual assistant for rideshare drivers. It’s a safer way to manage rideshare driving, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel

    Show Notes

    If you’d like to read a transcript of this podcast, please click here.

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.

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