Media that empowers working people – that's how we build a More Perfect Union.

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

Ideas

Have a story to tell or idea to share?
Email [email protected]
© 2021 More Perfect Union Action

Together we can build power for working people.

We’re asking questions that really matter, and telling the stories of people who really need to be seen and heard.

You can support our work by donating today.

Amount

Make It Monthly

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

NYC Taxi Drivers Won The Debt Relief They Hungered For

After a 15-day hunger strike, taxi drivers in New York City convinced Mayor Bill de Blasio to restructure their debt and provide significant relief.

YouTube Thumbnail

After a monthslong protest and two-week hunger strike, New York City taxi drivers won major concessions from a City Hall that had conspired with banks to mire them in crushing debt. The agreement represents a huge victory for working people over powerful industry leaders.

The deal will provide a city-backed guarantee for the massive outstanding loans hanging over the heads of thousands of city drivers who in many cases borrowed against their life savings to buy overpriced taxi medallions. It will also restructure those loans so that they max out at $170,000 — a lifeline for the many drivers who have been struggling for years to pay off what is in some cases more than $500,000 in debt. The plan will establish a standard 5% interest rate on loans, with payments of $1,100 per month. It is a massive improvement on the relief program NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio offered in March, which provided only $29,000 in grants per driver. 

As More Perfect Union reported last month, NYC taxi drivers organized with the New York Taxi Workers’ Union (NYTWA) began a hunger strike on October 19 after a long-term sit-in at City Hall failed to provide relief from the damage that the medallion system has wreaked upon their lives. 

The taxi drivers — the vast majority of whom are immigrants — described how the city marketed yellow cab medallions, or licenses to drive a cab in the city, as a golden ticket to the middle class. Seeking to shore up a hole in the budget, the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg worked to inflate the price of the medallions at auctions, and on secondary markets, the medallions fetched nearly $1 million at their peak. The loans used to finance the purchase of the medallions often came with predatory agreements that immigrant drivers did not understand. As the bubble burst, in part due to the unregulated flood of Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing vehicles entering the city, thousands of drivers found themselves under water. Many have lost their homes and retirement savings, and nine drivers have taken their own lives.

The striking taxi drivers received support from a number of elected officials during their City Hall protest, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and State Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani. Mamdani and State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou were amongst the lawmakers to participate in the hunger strike and celebrate their victory. 

The Latest

YouTube Thumbnail
Republicans Want You to Work Until You Die
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Elon Musk’s Firing Spree Continues: Twitter Janitors Terminated Via Text
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Four Lies Big Oil Is Feeding You To Keep Gas Prices High
Read More
Wall Street Banks Huge Profits Off Surging Credit Card Debt
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How Workers Took On A Manufacturing Giant—and Won
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Playing with Players’ Lives: How the NFL Hid a Crisis Killing Athletes
Read More
Kyrsten Sinema
Sinema’s Private Equity Donations Keep Flowing After Saving Tax Loophole
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Moderna To Raise Prices Over 400% For Vaccine That Taxpayers Helped Create
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How The Supreme Court Could Soon Destroy The Right To Strike
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Cities Are Canceling Medical Debt Thanks to Democrats’ American Rescue Plan
Read More
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Ex-CEO Got Rich Bankrupting the Retailer, Now Workers Stand to Lose
Read More
Rep. Virginia Foxx
Millionaire Stock Trader To Lead House Labor Committee For GOP
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The Fight For $20 Comes To New York
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Inside A Trader Joe’s Union Contract Bargaining Session
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How This Billionaire Couple Stole California’s Water Supply
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
La Colombe Coffee Workers Are Unionizing
Read More
Kevin McCarthy Vowed To Take On Congressional Stock Trading. Now He’s Gone Silent.
Read More
Schumer Freezes Antitrust Bills After Big Tech Lobbyists Bundled Millions
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How Joe Biden Could Stop Shady Union-Busting Practices
Read More
Rail Workers Oust Union President Who Backed Labor Deal
Read More