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EXCLUSIVE: Aldermen push for ride-share drivers to get pay raise

Aldermen Ed Burke and Anthony Beale chat during a City Council meeting in 2013 | Sun-Times file photo

Sneed exclusive . . .

Vrooom doom?

Are Chicago’s ride-share drivers being taken for a ride?

Two top Chicago aldermen think so when it comes to the wages of ride-share drivers minus job-incurred expenses — which puts them below Chicago’s minimum wage.

Sneed has learned Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th) and Edward Burke (14th) plan to propose a little protection: a minimum pay rate for ride-share drivers that will match or exceed the Chicago minimum wage — after accounting for costs like insurance and gas expenses incurred by their job.

“These people work on short-term contracts often for modest pay minus benefits,” said Burke.


According to a Sun-Times editorial Friday, the typical Chicago Uber driver’s take-home pay is roughly $11.53 an hour — subtracting expenses from earnings.

The minimum wage in Chicago is $12.

Beale tells Sneed they will also review capping the number of ride-share drivers to address traffic congestion in the city in light of word Wednesday New York became the first major American city to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hail services.

The move by New York was considered a significant setback to Uber in its largest U.S. market.

The New York City Council legislation passed overwhelmingly and caps the number of for-hire vehicles for a year while the city studies the booming industry.


EDITORIAL: Hop a New York ride, Chicago, and demand a better deal for Uber drivers

Aldermen move to protect ride-hailing, taxicab passengers

The bills also allow New York to set a minimum pay rate for drivers.

“This whole ride-share industry has been a debacle from the very beginning,” said Beale.

“The fact they’ve been able to basically dominate the [cab] industry with their own rules and regulations initially was a nightmare. So many drivers are working below minimum wage.

“I’m glad we are finally getting some real reform on the ride-share industry; the traffic problems we have now are ridiculous,” he said.

“Traffic to O’Hare is ridiculous. Every other car to O’Hare has a ride-share sticker in their windows. They are rearing up the city’s streets. It’s getting out of control.”

The aldermen also plan to conduct a series of hearings before the City Council to solicit the view of ride-share drivers on how to reform the industry.

I spy . . .

• Pass the pasta: Cubbie favorite Kris Bryant spotted with a group at RPM Italian on Thursday night.

• Aloha: Indie rock band Manchester Orchestra and pop group Cigarettes After Sex sipping on cocktails at Three Dots and a Dash recently. Same for country music star Tyler Childers.

• Roll it up: Singer Madison Beer back at Sushi-san in River North for a second time over Lollapalooza weekend.

•West Loopin’: Hip-hop artist Supa Bwe at Beatrix Fulton Market.

• Bonjour: DJ Z-Trip performed at Studio Paris during an official Lolla afterparty.


Go fund me . . .

Plea$$$e: Chicago Police Officer Robert Rialmo’s GoFundMe page created by his attorney Joel Brodsky has reached $19,771 of his $50,000 goal.

Meanwhile, Cassandra Cales — sister of convicted murderer Drew Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy — has only collected $1,675 of her $25,000 goal to fund the retrieval of her sister’s body from the murky waters of the Sanitary and Ship Canal.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday’s birthdays: Chris Hemsworth, 35; Viola Davis, 53; and Hulk Hogan, 65. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Cara Delevingne; 26; Mario Balotelli, 28; Francois Hollande, 64; and a happy belated 100th birthday to Emilia Radka.