With hundreds of drivers rallying in city hall and on the streets outside, the LA City Council unanimously passed a motion Tuesday instructing city staff to study the wages and business expenses of rideshare drivers in LA and to include recommendations on how to establish a minimum hourly wage in the city, with a goal of a $30 minimum!
In the special Economic Development Committee Meeting before the full council meeting, drivers Konstantine Anthony, Eduardo Belalcazar and Linda Valdivia testified as to what a difference a $30 hourly wage would make in their lives and the lives of other drivers.
After hearing from the drivers, Councilmembers Curren Price and Monica Rodriguez advanced the motion to full council with some amendments. A few minutes later, the full council approved the motion unanimously!
The MWA drivers who had been in the chamber headed to the steps of city hall, where we were soon joined by hundreds of drivers on a motor march from Chinatown. We held a triumphant press conference where we were joined by Pastor Cue of the Church Without Walls in Skid Row, Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, a co-author of AB5, LA City Council President Herb Wesson, who introduced the motion, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, who championed $30/hr in El Monte, and President of SEIU Local 721 Bob Schoonover – along with drivers Armen Ogasyen, Manuel Ramos and Eduardo Belalcazar.
As drivers circled city hall in their cars decorated with MWA flags, speaker after speaker talked about how our organizing made this historic win possible. Uber and Lyft may have billions of dollars, but we have real power. We have the power that comes from standing side by side as brothers and sisters and demanding our rights!
We won this round, but the fight isn’t over. We’ll be keeping an eye on what the City Administrative Office comes up with and ready to head back to city hall to make sure the council follows through!
In the meantime, we know that we can’t rely on local governments to hold these companies accountable, if we want to win a living wage, benefits and fair treatment for drivers everywhere, we need to continue to fight for and demand a union!