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Uber: what we can learn from New York

15 Aug 2018
Workers from the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance (NYTWA) built partnerships across the city
The ITF has congratulated its affiliate, the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance (NYTWA), on its successful campaign for a cap on new ride-hailing vehicles in the city, and says other unions can learn from their victory.

New York became the first city in the United States to limit services such as Uber and Lyft and set a minimum rate of fares that will apply to all taxis and private hires.

ITF future of work coordinator Mac Urata said: “This is fantastic news, and nothing more than the Alliance deserves, many congratulations to them.

“We can all learn from the way they have built alliances across the city, and brought people together to tackle the scourge of unregulated ride-hailing services.

“From cab drivers, to environmentalists, to drivers for ride-hailing services, to everyday New Yorkers – the NYTWA united everyone who cares about making New York a better place to live and work.”

The new law followed six tragic suicides by yellow cab and black car drivers forced into poverty by the over-supply of ride-hailing vehicles, as well as increased road congestion.

Bhairavi Desai from the NYTWA said: “This is an important message to the ride-hailing companies: we will organise, we will fight and we will win.

“In the last six months, we held 12 demonstrations and vigils. In the end the politicians could not ignore us.

“It signals the dawning of a new day for a workforce of hundreds of thousands of men and women.

“Tragically, this victory comes too late for our brothers who have died by suicide in recent months, but this fight was so that no other families suffer like they have.”

Under the new law, no new licences will be issued for a year, except to vehicles with wheelchair access, and the city will investigate the effects on road congestion during the period.

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