New York ‘Black Car’ Drivers Win First Contract

Nearly 200 drivers employed by Town Car International in Long Island City, NY, ratified their first ever IAM contract, bringing their historic journey full circle. The drivers, who provide premium personal transportation services in the New York metropolitan area, are mostly recent immigrants trying to build a good life in the United States.

Much of the money earned by Black Car Drivers goes to expenses. The approximately $70,000 a driver can make is whittled down to less than $25,000 after paying for the vehicle, gas, maintenance and insurance, as well as fees, radios, car washes and fines from both the city and the company. Most drivers work 12-to-15-hour shifts, six days per week.

The new four-year accord features Retirement Benefits, Family Dental Coverage and Life Insurance, a first for the new members. More importantly to most of the drivers are important rule and policy changes. The contract has a grievance procedure as well as the creation of internal committees to regulate the technology and dispatch issues of the company.

“It’s inspiring to see these drivers who came from around the globe prepared to work hard and build a better life for their families take the steps to achieve that goal,” said District 15 DBR Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr. “This is another milestone in what has been a long journey, taking many years to reach. None of it would have been possible without the support from Eastern Territory GVP Lynn D. Tucker, Jr., and the entire IAM Executive Council. The entire District 15 staff worked literally for years to educate drivers, the community and even the industry on the benefits of IAM membership and collective bargaining,”

District 15 in New York City now represents about 250 drivers throughout the industry.