Posts tagged with "IDG"

Javier Ramos illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Javier Ramos Vigil

Rideshare Driver Killed in Chicago Amid Carjacking Crisis Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers

Drivers Guild Demands Action from Uber, Lyft, City of Chicago

7pm Tonight: The Independent Drivers Guild will take part in Prayer Vigil Tonight Honoring Javier Ramos – Details Below

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is mourning the loss of rideshare driver Javier Ramos who was killed in a carjacking early Tuesday morning in Chicago. Ramos is survived by his 9-year-old daughter and a close-knit circle of family and friends. His death comes amid a carjacking crisis in the city in which rideshare drivers have been targeted repeatedly. 

Ramos was killed exactly one week after the IDG held a vigil for other rideshare drivers who were attacked in car jackings earlier this month, one of whom was left paralyzed from the waist down and one who was kidnapped, robbed, and sexually assaulted by her passenger. The vigil was followed by a vehicle procession to Uber and Lyft’s Chicago offices where the Guild posted its safety demands in letters to the companies’ CEOs. 

“Javier Ramos was found lying in the street by police and transported to a hospital as a John Doe. Unable to communicate and robbed of his belongings, he passed. He tried to fight off his attackers. They shot him in his face and head. He was then removed from his car, and the violent criminals proceeded to run him over with it,” said IDG organizer and longtime Chicago rideshare driver Lenny Sanchez.

“Javier Ramos was a father, a brother, and a beloved member of our community. And he did not have to die. Say his name, Dara Khosrowshahi. Say his name, Logan Green. Blood is on your hands and it’s not the last of it. Comply with our driver safety demands now,” demanded Sanchez.

In January, the IDG launched a driver safety campaign, demanding action from Uber and Lyft, and the City of Chicago to protect rideshare drivers. The Guild has called for a City Council hearing on the crisis. Drivers and members of the community who wish to learn more and show their support are urged to go to where you can sign a petition to the City Council and sign up for updates on upcoming actions and events.

“If Uber and Lyft won’t protect Chicago’s hardworking drivers, the city needs to act to compel them to. Chicago cannot allow these apps to be used by criminals to hunt down their next victims,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “While Uber and Lyft have made rider safety a priority with constant improvements, driver safety has been virtually ignored and this is the result. Rideshare drivers must be licensed, and background checked before they can begin serving our community, but Uber and Lyft do not even require passengers to verify their identity. End the disparity and protect drivers now.”

Earlier this month, the Guild launched a fund to support Chicago rideshare drivers and their families affected by car jackings and assaults.

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets. The Independent Drivers Guild is a non-profit affiliate of the Machinists Union that advocates for more than 250,000 drivers in NY, IL, NJ, CT and across New England. We are driver-led and driver-powered.

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Javier Ramos Vigil Information

Friends and family of Javier Ramos will gather for a prayer vigil in his honor Friday, March 26, 2021, at 7 pm in North Park, 10040 Addison Avenue, Franklin Park, Illinois. Invited guests include Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García, Senators Don Harmon, Karina Villa and Ram Villivalam; Representatives Maura Hirschsuer and Kathy Willis; Franklin Park Mayor, Barrett Pedersen; Director of Police, Michael Witz; and Independent Drivers Guild advocate, Lenny Sanchez.

The vigil will honor the life of Javier Ramos who was killed by his passenger during an attempted carjacking earlier this week. Those who knew “Javi” knew that he lived for the joy of his life, his 9-year-old daughter. 

Javier’s death comes as Chicago is seeing an exorbitant increase in city-wide car jackings, some of which have culminated in the deaths of the victims. It is well past the time to address the issue of senseless gun violence. Javi’s death should not be in vain. 

Cousin and spokesperson for the family, Ms. Illinois International 2021, Hortencia Ramos said “This could have been anyone’s brother, anyone’s son, anyone’s father, anyone’s cousin,” The vigil is open to all who want to share their love and support of Javier and his family. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange in support of a future without gun violence.

Uber/Lyft Drivers Demand Action from Rideshare Companies After Recent Driver Killings

Drivers Guild to Hold Rally, Caravan To Protect Drivers’ Lives

Drivers and supporters can learn more at

Rideshare drivers are being assaulted in targeted attacks at an alarming rate and just last week two drivers were killed by their passengers. The Independent Drivers Guild is demanding that Uber and Lyft take immediate action to protect driver safety, starting with verifying customer identities. On Friday, the Guild will hold a rally at the O’Hare airport TNP waiting lot before caravanning to the Uber and Lyft hubs where rideshare drivers, including carjacking victims, will hold a press conference with community activist Ja’Mal Green, city leaders and the family of Javier Ramos, the driver who was killed by his passenger in Chicago last week.

The Guild will also hold rallies in New York and Connecticut in memory of Javier Ramos and Mohammad Anwar and in solidarity with rideshare drivers nationwide facing violence on the job.


10AM rally at O’Hare Uber/ Lyft Waiting Lot (ORD TNP lot)

11:30AM Caravan to Uber and Lyft Chicago Hubs

12:00PM Press conference at Uber Hub: We stand up for ourselves and demand action now!
Uber Greenlight Hub on North Avenue

1401 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Chicago Joins the Independent Drivers Guild

Chicago gig workers and organizers are joining with the nation’s largest organization of rideshare drivers to launch a Chicago branch of the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG), a drivers’ rights organization affiliated with the Machinists Union. IDG-Chicago will aim to empower Chicago gig workers and advocate for rights, protections and benefits for the drivers who keep Chicago moving.

The longtime Chicago rideshare driver organizers behind Gig Workers Matter are joining forces and becoming part of the IDG to expand efforts to empower the city’s tens of thousands of rideshare drivers. Gig Workers Matter has played a critical role in advocating for Chicago rideshare drivers and other gig economy workers, from mobilizing hundreds of Chicago drivers to advocate for their rights in the state legislature to providing critical information and support to drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These Chicago driver-organizers will expand their work advocating for gig workers as IDG-Chicago while benefiting from the experience and expertise of being part of the nation’s largest and most impactful driver organization.

Chicago rideshare drivers Lenny Sanchez, Steven Everett, and Mark Smithivas who co-founded Gig Workers Matter and helped organize Chicago’s largest gig worker actions like a demonstration at the Chicago Uber hub, and a rolling advocacy action at O’Hare. The three said they were excited to scale up driver advocacy efforts in their hometown with IDG-Chicago.

“For too long Uber and Lyft have held all the power. They hike prices for riders, cut pay for drivers and change the app whenever they want and drivers don’t have any recourse. We’re excited to launch IDG-Chicago to fight back,” said rideshare driver and IDG-Chicago co-founder Lenny Sanchez.

“IDG beat the odds to win higher pay and benefits for drivers in New York City and working together, we know we can do the same here in Chicago,” said Steven Everett, a Chicago rideshare driver who has been organizing gig workers in Chicago for over two years.

Mark Smithivas, a driver and organizer with GWM who is co-founding IDG-Chicago with Sanchez and Everett, noted, “Building power for gig workers is not easy, especially when the big platform companies have millions to pour into lobbying campaigns like we saw in California. We can’t let drivers get steam-rolled in Chicago. We need a voice in our future.”

After decades organizing for-hire vehicle drivers in New York City, the Machinists Union helped New York drivers form the Independent Drivers Guild in 2016. Since that time, the Guild has grown from representing 60,000 drivers to advocating for more than 200,000 drivers across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The new expansion to Chicago will allow the Guild to advocate for tens of thousands of additional drivers.

The IDG has achieved landmark victories for rideshare drivers that have put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets, from requiring Uber to add a tipping option in the app to petitioning for and winning the nation’s first minimum wage protection for rideshare drivers, which New York City found raised driver pay by half a billion dollars in a six month period. The Guild also fought for and won an appeals process for Uber and Lyft drivers to dispute unfair firings or deactivations and benefits including free vision, telemedicine, and counseling.

“When workers stand together we can achieve real change. With both of our organization’s focus on new 21st century organizing models, we can achieve tremendous changes for the drivers in Chicago and Illinois. We are excited to launch IDG Chicago as we continue to expand our campaign to empower gig workers,” said Brendan Sexton, Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild.

Chicago gig workers can learn more HERE