Uber and Lyft drivers organize nationwide strike for the right to organize

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Uber and Lyft drivers stage nationwide strike for union rights and better wages

Uber and Lyft drivers staged a nationwide strike under the leadership of Rideshare Drivers United, an organization that calls for a fair and sustainable rideshare industry, reports Bloomberg.

The drivers demand better remuneration and push for the passage of the Law on the Protection of the Right to Organize, which would grant workers the right to organize. This law has been passed in the House and is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

The coalition called on drivers and passengers to boycott the app on Wednesday in major cities like Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, among others. Although there is no official estimate of the number of drivers who participated, the Los Angeles Times reports that during the strike, Uber was offering $ 16 bonuses for drivers to pick up rides at LAX.

Drivers of the rideshare app have been critical of company policies for years because drivers are labeled as independent contractors instead of employees, meaning they don’t receive any benefits such as sick leave or health insurance. Workers also pay for their own fuel and car maintenance.

Next city previously reported on The Drivers Cooperative, a driver-owned ridesharing platform that aims to end the taxi industry’s operating practices, and has been in operation since May 30. Each driver owns a share of the company and can vote on new leadership and business decisions, adds Fast Company.

The Drivers’ Cooperative also redistributes the profits to their drivers (not top executives or shareholders) – allowing them to earn 8-10% more on trips than Uber and Lyft drivers.

DC Council votes to raise taxes on the rich to fund social programs

A DC council voted to raise income taxes for the rich, a move that would generate roughly $ 100 million in revenue to be used for issues like affordable housing, The Washington Post reports.

This provision will raise the marginal tax rate to 9.25% for those earning $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 per year. Previously, the tax rate was 8.5% for those earning between $ 60,000 and $ 350,000. For income over $ 1 million, the tax rate would drop from 8.95 to 10.75%. However, only 5% of DC residents earn more than this amount.

The board’s 8-5 vote will be reviewed in August, where the board will finalize the 2022 budget.

Supporters of the tax increase say DC needs long-term funding to tackle poverty and homelessness in the city. Opponents said they believed the proposal was rushed, but agreed with the programs the tax increase would fund.

“We have the wealth and the resources in our city to address these issues, not just for this fiscal year or the next fiscal year, but for decades to come,” Janeese Lewis George, DC board member and co-author of the proposal increase in taxes, told the Washington Post.

Blacks in Philadelphia call for support to diversify unions

Construction and Building Trade Black Workers Call on Philadelphia to Help Diversify Union, WHY reports.

Philadelphia has more than 50 construction unions, but only one predominantly black account. The West Philadelphia Promise Zone Workforce and Economic Opportunities Committee hosted a panel in which black workers suggested the city strengthen union diversity by helping potential black workers prepare for testing skills, offering mentoring programs and forcing developers to employ black residents in the city. -projects financed or under agreements for the benefit of the community.

“We have a predominantly black and brown population and a disproportionate number of our low income residents are black and brown. Unions in the construction trades are a powerful tool in correcting this disparity, ”said Soneyet Muhammad, moderator and Promise Zone co-chair of the Workforce and Economic Opportunities Committee. —Solcyre Bourga

Regulators push for reset of community reinvestment regulations

Federal banking regulators on Tuesday announced that they would move forward together on developing a new set of common rules for the enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, the 1977 anti-redlining law that requires banks to meet the needs of low-income communities credit.

the the announcement effectively reverses changes made under the Trump administration to weaken those rules.

The changes were enacted under the leadership of Joseph Otting, then Comptroller of the Currency, an office that shares responsibility for CRA enforcement with the Federal Reserve and FDIC. Otting’s former employer, OneWest Bank, paid a fine in 2019 to settle a redlining case during his tenure as CEO of the bank. He began pushing for CRA rules to be changed soon after he was sworn in as Comptroller of the Currency in 2017.

Community development groups, fair housing organizations, racial justice organizations and local policymakers have opposed the rule changes proposed by Otting all the way. They argued that the proposed changes would make it easier for banks to comply with the law and potentially reward them for making investments that did not actually benefit low-income communities.

The Federal Reserve eventually came up with a different set of rules that community development groups and even some banks said it would make more sense for the purposes of the law.

Avoiding the other two agencies, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized its rules last year, but the Fed and FDIC did not embrace those roles, creating an unprecedented situation where the banking industry faced two sets of rules for the same law.

All parties agree that the CRA rules need updating as they have not undergone a major update since 1995. But now this rulemaking process officially gets an overhaul, with the three agencies on board for a set of rules. —Oscar Perry Abello

Solcyra (Sol) Burga is a member of the Emma Bowen Foundation with Next City for the summer of 2021. Burga is completing her degree in Political Science and Journalism at Rutgers University, with the intention of graduating in May 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to raise the voices of underrepresented communities in her work.

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Oscar is Next City’s senior business correspondent. Previously, he was Editor-in-Chief of Next City from 2018-2019 and was a Next City Equitable Cities member from 2015-2016. Since 2011, Oscar has covered funding for community development, community banking, impact investing, economic development, housing and more for media such as Shelterforce, B Magazine, Impact Alpha and Fast Company.

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