On Monday, December 19th, Uber drivers in New York City held a protest in support of the lawsuit filed by Uber against the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission on Friday, December 9th. This lawsuit came after the Commission announced its intentions to have a pay rise of 24% per mile for ride-share drivers.
The lawsuit was filed in a Manhattan court with several reasons listed in the lawsuit for the legal action. Uber claims the pay rise will drastically change the ride-sharing industry. The company claims that it would have to either pay out an extra $21 to $23 million per month or increase ride fares by 10%, something it says will ruin its reputation. The Taxi and Limousine Commission is accused of not using its usual method to calculate a pay increase. “Fundamental economic principles reject the Commission’s approach as unsound, and it appears selected to achieve a predetermined result,” the suit claims. Uber claimed that the manner of calculation of the increase was not revealed. It further claims that there was no public involvement in the new rule of calculation. Uber has not challenged previous pay rises because it “strongly supports drivers receiving fair compensation.”
Uber alleges that the Association did not follow its usual procedure. On Tuesday, December 14th, a Manhattan Supreme Court Judge granted a temporary hold on the rate increase to Uber, blocking the pay raise that was set to go into effect on December 19th.
“With this latest rule-making, on top of the annual inflation adjustment, the TLC is choosing to invent a new methodology that locks in this summer’s high gas prices in perpetuity with a ‘mid-year’ adjustment that takes place 12 days before the end of the year,” Uber spokesperson Freddie Goldstein said in a statement.
“The TLC should have followed its usual annual adjustment and instituted a temporary gas surcharge when gas prices were actually elevated,” Goldstein said
The Taxi and Limousine Commission said they would fight the lawsuit. “We must stand behind our workers without traditional employment protections,” TLC Commissioner David Do said. “New York City leads the nation in protecting drivers, and this important rule reflects that reality.”
“We are confident that we are well within our legal authority in implementing this important rule, and we are vigorously fighting this lawsuit,” Do’s statement said.