The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) has won a big victory over Uber, which will result in millions of dollars in lost wages being returned to drivers.
NYTWA says that Uber owes much more than the millions that it has agreed to return to drivers and that the taxi workers’ union will continue to fight to get all of the money owed by Uber to drivers.
“Uber is sending you back money it claims it took from you by mistake,” said an NYTWA message to Uber drivers. “Basically, we have Uber cornered so they are trying to pull a fast one and avoid the court and avoid paying drivers everything you are owed. Nice try, Uber. But the drivers are going to win this one!”
NYTWA on May 12 filed an amendment to an earlier suit against Uber. The original suit filed in July 2016 charges Uber with wage theft and misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
The amendment charges Uber with acting unlawfully when it makes drivers pay the sales taxes and black car surcharges that are included in fares charged to customers.
A week after the union filed its suit, Uber announced that it had miscalculated its portion of the fares taken in New York City and would be returning tens of millions of dollars to drivers.
According to Uber, it calculated its commission on the full amount of the fare including taxes and surcharges when it should have deducted the taxes and surcharges before calculating its commission.
But the union argues that Uber’s offer to reimburse workers for lost wages doesn’t compensate drivers for all the money that the company owes them because drivers will still be paying taxes that should be paid by the company.
“Uber drivers are owed back the entire tax and (black car) surcharge amount that Uber unlawfully stole from you!” reads the NYTWA message.
If the union’s suit prevails, Uber will owe much more to its drivers.
The New York Times reports that after examining relevant documents, it has concluded that the Uber’s current method for calculating its commission “could have cost drivers hundreds of millions of dollars.”
NYTWA urged Uber drivers not to sign anything that the company might use at a later date to get out of returning more money that it owes its drivers.
“When they ask for your bank account information make sure you are not signing anything that says by accepting this money you are giving up any claims for other money owed to you,” said NYTWA’s message.