Published: Tue, April 18, 2017
Technology | By Ramiro Moody

Protesting 'low pay', Ola, Uber drivers on strike today

Protesting 'low pay', Ola, Uber drivers on strike today

In Uber's case, this would involve adding a tipping feature within the its smartphone app. The guild proposed requiring all ride-hailing companies to include a tipping option in their apps. And while the support of the TLC is important, this is far from a done deal - but it's hard to see the downside for anyone aside from Uber, which has long claimed that its pricing takes gratuities into account.

If New York City does force Uber to tip it could increase pressure on Uber from drivers in other cities around the world - many of which have concocted inventive ways to encourage tipping, often in vain as many riders do not have cash on hand.

The company then runs the risk of drivers rating riders poorly due to not tipping, but Uber might then warn and punish drivers who frequently give bad ratings to riders who don't tip.

The IDG estimates tipping will be worth an extra $300m (£238m) to drivers in the city every year.

Passengers are now allowed to tip in cash, though it's generally understood that tips aren't necessary.

New York City's taxi and black vehicle regulator plans to require Uber Technologies to add a tipping feature to its app by July.

Drivers' organizations say they are thrilled that the TLC is considering the rule. Drivers for companies that take only cash could continue to accept cash tips.

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More importantly, Uber also agreed to a number of concessions, including new specific policies created to give drivers greater transparency about what keeps them in good standing and what could boot them off the platform.

In October alone, rides used Uber 16 million times in NY.

While Uber settled in April of a year ago, in order for drivers to remain independent contractors, the company was forced to pay out $84 million to the approximately 385,000 drivers represented in the suit. "The Delhi High Court has issued a perpetual injunction restraining unions, their leaders, members and their followers from preventing Uber drivers from going about their work".

"This rule proposal will be an important first step to improve earning potential in the for-hire vehicle industry", Meera Joshi, the taxi commissioner, said in a statement today.

The Machinists Union-backed Guild is one of several competing efforts to organize e-hail workers, and is the group working most closely with Uber.

Rules on tipping are a first step in a larger process to bring some of the income protections given to yellow taxi drivers to those in the for-hire world, the commission said in a statement.

Once the commission officially proposes the change, it must be certified by the city's law department and subjected to public comment.

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