Uber officials said rides out of LaGuardia International Airport are up 36% on Sunday, despite a union’s attempt to stop all rideshare trips out of the New York City airport for unfair wages.
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, or NYTWA, boasts a membership of 25,000 professional drivers, which includes taxicab and rideshare workers.
The union planned to go on strike at LaGuardia airport on Feb. 26 by refusing to pick up Uber and Lyft rides between 12 p.m. and 12 a.m. after a raise for all NYTWA members that was expected to go into effect on Dec. 19, 2022, was stopped by Uber.
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The raise would have meant a 7.3% increase in the per minute rate and a per mile rate increase of 24% for Uber and Lyft drivers because of rising costs.
“As with the last couple of times, the taxi industry ‘protest’ has had no impact on Uber,” Uber spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said on Sunday. “The taxi association should focus on issues that actually resonate with drivers, like the TLC’s universally hated lockout rule, rather than PR stunts.”
Uber reported that its drivers had completed 36% more trips from LaGuardia on Sunday than a typical Sunday.
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This is the third strike called by the NYTWA regarding wages. When its members striked on Dec. 19, Uber officials said, the rideshare company saw 8% more trips and 7% more drivers on the app than the average Monday for the third quarter in 2022.
As for pay, Uber officials said New York City drivers are making 38.4% more on a seven-mile and 30-minute trip since 2019. The company also said drivers have received three rate increases since 2020.
In fact, in 2020 drivers got a 1.4% increase in per minute and per mile rates, there was no rate increase in 2021, and in 2022 there was a 5.34% increase in per minute and per mile rates.
This year, drivers got an increase of 6.39%.
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“On February 1, drivers got their third mandated raise since 2020 and now make $31.66/hour,” Goldstein said. “This is the only industry in the state with a yearly required increase tied to the rate of inflation, while minimum wage workers have not had one raise since 2018.”
Still, NYTWA members made their presence known at LaGuardia on Sunday.
The union’s Twitter claimed there were “hundreds” of striking drivers at the airport, all demanding to be treated with respect.
New York City Councilman Shekar Krishnan was at the strike as well and posted his support for the drivers on Twitter.
“Our taxi workers are essential,” the city council member said. “@uber suing to stop the law that gave them a long overdue pay raise is cruel. It’s an insult to their dignity & sacrifices as workers. Solidarity with @NYTWA on strike. We will keep fighting for the pay raise, and to stop unfair deactivations.”
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