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December 21, 2016

To Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator John Flanagan and Speaker Carl Heastie:
In June this year, with the support of progressive allies across the state, your leadership delivered a $15
Minimum Wage and Paid Family Leave for all workers. These bills continue New York’s proud legacy of
setting laws that reflect our values and help to make the State a place where all working families can get
ahead.
This holiday season thousands of families across the state will have extra cause to celebrate as the next
wave of minimum wage increases will come into effect on New Year’s Eve.
We cannot let the progress we have made together and the promise of a decent life for all those who work
hard, be undermined by pressure from multi-billion dollar companies like Uber who are taking a page out
of the Trump playbook and turning good jobs into bad jobs.
Despite Uber’s misleading public campaign, there is currently no impediment to the entry of new for-hire
transportation companies into markets outside of New York City. They are simply holding out until
lawmakers agree to tailor made rules that allow them to maximize their profits by operating free from
local regulations and the need to treat drivers fairly.
The special deal being sought by Uber’s lobbyists will be devastating for workers, such as the 300 taxi
drivers in the City of Rochester, many of whom are black men who were able to attain a living wage
standard and drive full time. Their jobs would be replaced by fragmented and temporary ones that will not
be sufficient to support individuals, much less families. Uber’s own report admits that on average upstate
drivers will earn only $350 per month, before expenses. Worse still, Uber will continue to avoid
applicable State laws such as Workers Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, Paid Family Leave and
the Minimum Wage.
The race-to-the-bottom model Uber is asking you to support will also come at the expense of safety and
wheelchair accessibility. Their favored legislation will allow them bypass rules put in place by localities
upon the industry that protect local interests and quality standards and set insurance and training
requirements. In addition, the legislation they favor would discriminate against people who have
disabilities by not mandating wheelchair-accessibility standards.
As the President Elect is forming an agenda to roll back worker protections and attack our communities,
we need leaders in New York to proactively reassert our values and make sure no worker is out in the
cold.

Uber claims that it is all New Yorkers want for Christmas.
What New Yorkers really want for Christmas are jobs that pay a living wage - not billionaires lining their
pockets off the back of workers.
We call upon you as leaders of the Legislature to reject any bill pertaining to the operation of
“transportation network companies” unless it explicitly ensures that drivers will be recognized as
employees for the purposes of New York State law and guarantees that they will take home no less than
the minimum wage that we proudly stood with you to pass.

Sincerely,
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN)
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled
Center for Popular Democracy
Citizen Action of New York
Communications Workers of America District One
Laundry Workers Center
Make the Road New York
National Employment Law
New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health
New York Communities for Change
New York Taxi Workers Alliance
Outten & Golden LLP
SEIU Local 32BJ
Taxis For All Campaign
United Auto Workers Region 9A
United Spinal Association
Urban Justice Center
Working Families Party