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Uber and Lyft Drivers’ Fight Against Independent Contractor Status Isn’t Going Away

The Most Revolutionary Act

On 2018, Uber driver Doug Schifter shot himself outside of City Hall in lower Manhattan. His public suicide was, he wrote, a bid to draw attention “to the plight of drivers.” Schifter saw that conditions were only getting worse, and warned in a letter posted on Facebook: “All that is needed now for a total disaster is a serious downturn in the economy reducing riders and there will be at least half million people hit hard. Downturns always come.”

Two years later, amid a pandemic, the economic downturn has arrived. A recent report from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) shows a 75 percent drop in the number of taxi drivers; with 108,880 who drove in March dipped to 30,675 in June. That same month, drivers, including those on other ride-hailing apps, logged 251,696 trips per day compared to 750,000 daily trips in February. The result for…

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