Striking for Pay Raises, Uber and Lyft Drivers Refuse to Pick Up Passengers at LaGuardia Airport

Striking for Pay Raises, Uber and Lyft Drivers Refuse to Pick Up Passengers at LaGuardia Airport

By Yehudit Garmaise

Passengers landing at LaGuardia Airport today should not bother with Uber, nor Lyft, to get home because the drivers for the popular ride apps are on strike from servicing the NYC airport for 12 hours today: from noon to midnight.

On a typical day, ride app drivers make a shocking 7,000 to 10,000 trips to La Guardia each day, CBSnews reported.

The ride app drivers are striking for the third time since December 2022, when Uber first sued to block city-ordered raises that accounted for the drivers’ inflated operating costs, such as gas and car maintenance, such as car washes and insurance.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is expected to vote a citywide proposal to raise drivers’ minimum wages later in March, weeks after a public hearing on the drivers’ demands on Wednesday. 

“Every day, drivers take a loss because these companies aren’t paying enough,” Bhairavi Desai, said the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents 27,000 drivers, told Gothamist. “But when we take losses because we've chosen to go out on strike, we’re giving our losses a different meaning.

“We are saying to the companies: Workers have power.”

Uber representatives, however, say that Uber drivers are much better paid than minimum-wage workers and have no reason to complain.

“On February 1, Uber drivers got their third mandated raise since 2020 and now make $31.66/hour,” said Freddi Goldstein, a spokesperson for Uber. “This is the only industry in the state with a required yearly increase tied to the rate of inflation, while minimum-wage workers have not had one raise since 2018.”

Drivers, however, say that Uber and Lyft take cuts that are too big from earnings that are hard-won and expensive to generate.

Although ride app drivers will not be heading to LaGuardia today, they will continue to pick up passengers at the city’s other major airports and citywide. 

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