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Uber/Lyft Drivers Demand Action

by Soraya Alcalá

The Independent Drivers Guild will take part in Prayer Vigil Tonight Honoring Javier Ramos

Chicago, IL — 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 carjackings 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 laying 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 long time 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 IDGactnow.org 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 carjackings and assaults. It can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/idg-fundraiser-for-chicago-rideshare-victims

Photo: Aaron Ramos (center left), father of Javier Ramos, stands with other family and 
friends during a candlelight vigil in honor of the life of ride share driver Javier Ramos
 at North Park in suburban Franklin Park on Friday, March 26, 2021. Ramos was killed while
 being carjacked early Tuesday morning. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
 (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

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