Uber and Lyft Drivers are going on strike and there has been a spike in for-hire-driver suicides

Ride share drivers are planning a strike Wednesday ahead of Uber’s planned initial public offering on Wall Street.

Drivers in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco won’t be available on the Uber and Lyft apps.

In New York, they’ll be holding a rally at Uber and Lyft‘s headquarters in Long Island City.

They’re demanding better job security, livable incomes and a cap on company commissions to guarantee them at least 80 percent of fares.

Meanwhile, in response to a surge in for-hire driver suicides, the Independent Drivers Guild and Black Car Fund launched a new “driver wellness” program offering free counseling.

For more information about the driver wellness program, click here

“Too many drivers across our city are in crisis—with nine suicides that we know of in a little over a year. We are launching this program to provide drivers with much needed support and to save lives,” said Brendan Sexton, Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild.  “At its core, this crisis is largely driven by the economic insecurity of the for-hire vehicle industry. At the same time as we stand up for fair pay for drivers and remedy the exploitation in this industry, we also must give drivers and their families much-needed resources and support. We aim to erase the stigma of mental health care, create a community of support and stop the suicides.”

“This new wellness program comes at a critical moment for for-hire drivers, who desperately need a stronger safety net as they struggle with the stress of an extremely competitive profession, and a more and more demanding daily life,” said Ira Goldstein, Executive Director of the Black Car Fund. “We hope that this program will not just improve lives—but also save them. Something must be done, and the Black Car Fund is proud to work with the Independent Drivers Guild and leaders like Public Advocate [Jumaane] Williams to reach out and offer meaningful help before it’s too late.”

“As a mental health crisis continues to grow in the community of drivers that has been New York City’s backbone, it is clear that we in city government have failed this community of hardworking people just trying to keep up,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.“I’m glad that this new program will help provide some vital resources and support through a holistic approach that continues to destigmatize mental health care.”

For more information about the driver wellness program, click here

Source: CBS New York

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