Uber wins bid to stop pay rise for NYC carpool drivers

A Manhattan judge has upheld Uber’s offer to temporarily hold a pay rise for carpool drivers from taking effect next week.

Uber filed a lawsuit against the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission on Friday to stop a new rule that would increase driver salaries by 7.42% per minute and 23.93% per mile starting in 2019.

The company claimed the increase — due to take effect Dec. 19 — would force it to spend an additional $21 million to $23 million a month and increase fares by 10% during the holiday season.

On Tuesday, Manhattan Superior Court Judge Arthur Engoron issued an injunction blocking the effectiveness of the increase — at least until arguments in the case can be heard on Jan. 31.

TLC said it would appeal the decision.

“We are disappointed by the tens of thousands of drivers who are once again being forced to bear the rising costs of inflation all on their own, with no help from the multi-billion dollar company they work for,” TLC Commissioner David Do said in a statement. “We will aggressively defend this important standard for our drivers.”

Taxis and ride-sharing services
A Manhattan judge has approved an offer to temporarily suspend a Dec. 19 pay rise for rideshare drivers.
Corbis via Getty Images

Uber spokesman Freddi Goldstein said, “Drivers do important work and deserve to be paid fairly, but fares should be calculated in a transparent, consistent and predictable manner.”

In its lawsuit, Uber argued that the pay rise was “arbitrary and capricious” because TLC changed the way it calculates inflation and refused to provide the documentation on which it based the measure.

The TLC began raising minimum wages for drivers in February 2019 and raised wages twice to adjust for inflation – in February 2020 and March 2020.

People protest in front of the town hall against the increase in driver's wages.
The city of TLC said it would appeal the verdict.
Stephen Yang

The Independent Drivers Guild said Engoron’s verdict would let 80,000 Uber drivers down as the holiday nears.

“This is a nasty stunt for Uber, which it prefers to its drivers – especially just before the holidays,” IDG President Brendan Sexton said in a statement. “Even that would make Scrooge blush.”

“While Uber has made record-breaking profits with its ride-sharing business, the drivers who make the service work are bearing the rising costs alone,” Sexton said.

Lyft driver Alpha Berry – who previously drove a cab for 20 years – said it was “terrible” that the court sided with Uber after the work drivers fought for the pay rise.

“It just seems like nobody’s listening to us. We’re fighting out there. It’s not easy to make a living on the streets,” said Berry, a 50-year-old Bronx resident.

He said Uber only cares about making money.

“They charge passengers more and give drivers less money,” Berry said. “They don’t lower their prices. They make more money and drivers continue to suffer.”

https://nypost.com/2022/12/14/uber-wins-bid-to-postpone-pay-raise-for-ride-sharing-drivers/ Uber wins bid to stop pay rise for NYC carpool drivers

JACLYN DIAZ

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