NYC delivery workers celebrate big win

New York, New York – New laws went into effect on Monday to provide hard-fought protections to delivery workers in New York City.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke at a rally for New York delivery workers in Times Square on Sunday.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke at a rally for New York delivery workers in Times Square on Sunday.  © imago/Levine-Roberts

Food delivery apps have seen a big boost since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the expansion of that market came without added protections for vulnerable workers.

Los Deliveristas Unidos, a labor group representing thousands of delivery workers, has campaigned for better treatment and working conditions.

Their demands included greater transparency when it comes to pay and tips and basic amenities like access to bathrooms while on the job.

The New York City Council in September approved many of those measures in September, but the first changes were rolled out on Monday, The City reported.

As of this week, food delivery apps must inform workers how much the customer gives in tips as well as their total pay and tips for the previous day. Workers will also have increased access to bathrooms at restaurants whose food they are delivering.

Deliveristas celebrated the developments at a rally in Times Square on Sunday. They were joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who praised the protections as a contrast to recent measures passed in California which ban gig workers from being seen as full-time employees, depriving them of important protections and benefits.

Further improvements are expected to come in April, including requirements that apps give details of the delivery route in advance, pay workers at least once per week, and provide a free insulated delivery bag. As of now, most workers are required to buy their own bag, which can cost over $100.

As of 2023, apps will be required to pay a minimum rate dictated by the city.

Cover photo: imago/Levine-Roberts

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