Jul 3, 2024 | News Story

Rideshare Drivers Hold Rally in Long Island City to Protest Uber’s Lockout Tactics

Members of the Independent Drivers Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate that represents over 80,000 For-Hire Vehicle drivers in New York City, held a rally outside Uber’s headquarters in Long Island City last week to protest the company’s practice of locking New York City drivers out of its app during low-demand periods, which the drivers say is being used to avoid paying them idle time.

Wearing blue T-shirts and shouting, “No more lockouts,” the angry protesters stood outside the Falchi Building on 31-00 47th Ave., where Uber is located, while a long, loud motorcade drove around the block. One sign directed at Uber read, “We stand to demand: the end of lockout now!”

Muhammad Ali, 31, a Pakistani-American TLC driver and IDG member, usually drives customers to New York airports from Putnam County, where he lives. Uber is supposed to pay drivers about $28 per hour minimum for being online, per TLC rules, but now Uber chooses to lock them out when they fail to get rides in order to stop paying them. Ali used to get rides soon after making a drop-off at the airports, which made driving attractive. However, soon after he drops passengers off, Uber automatically and forcefully locks him out if there is no demand, which means he is forced to drive back empty for another 2 hours or wait several hours until the app allows him to log in again.

“Out of 24 hours, we only have 4 hours to go online and work,” Ali said. Read more in the LIC Post and follow the IDG here.