LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) — New York City Uber drivers went on strike on Thursday after the company filed a lawsuit to stop a pay raise approved by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Protests began around noon at the Manhattan headquarters of Uber, where drivers demanded the company drop the lawsuit and move forward with the pay increase.

“We are not asking them to give us some change. We are not putting our hands out and telling them to give us free money. This is our hard-earned money,” Uber driver Arifa Tizmizi said on Thursday.

App drivers in New York City lost out on around $12 million in pay from Dec. 19, the time the raises were supposed to go into effect, to Jan 1, according to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA.) The pay bump will give rideshare drivers an additional $1,000 each month.

“The city’s for-hire drivers have every right to protest Uber’s attempt to deny them the inflation and cost of living pay adjustment that they are rightfully due. TLC is actively protesting this too, in court,” NYC Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Do said on Thursday.

The NYTWA filed an Amicus Brief in the state court case for the judge to consider the drivers’ interests in restoring the raise. The court is now reviewing the papers from the City, Uber, and NYTWA, and will hold a hearing for the attorneys to answer questions in court on Jan. 6. 

“Every time the taxi association calls for a strike, drivers demonstrate they’re more interested in delivering for New Yorkers than social media discourse,” said an Uber spokesperson in a statement issued Thursday morning. “We expect this time will be no different.”

The last strike and protest was held on Dec. 19.