New York food delivery people and rideshare drivers demand more rights

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NEW YORK – Food delivery people in New York City, who just won the right to tipping transparency and use of restaurant bathrooms, joined ride-hailing drivers on Tuesday in demanding more protections, including better wages, health care and the right to organize .

Groups representing about 100,000 app workers have announced the formation of a new coalition, Justice for App Workers, which will push for new measures they say will “dignify” the drivers and delivery fleet of the app. city.

The vast majority of app workers in New York are immigrants. Reliable statistics on the number of app workers are not available, but estimates put their numbers in the tens of thousands – many of whom were lured into the industry by flexible working hours, the need to supplement income main jobs or out of necessity because of a few other options.

Most members of the coalition are based in New York, but it also represents members in parts of neighboring regions. The coalition hopes its advocacy will trickle down to movements across the country.

“We are delivery people or Uber drivers. We move the city. … They want good food and we deliver it to their doorstep,” said Ranjit Geuli, member of the United Delivery Workers Association and driver for Uber UBER,
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and Uber Eats for five years.

“We have no protection. … Our jobs are not guaranteed,” said Geuli, an immigrant from Nepal, who called for a union at a rally near the city hall. “If we all come together, it will be a great voice.”

The ridesharing industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but remains a multi-billion dollar industry. On the other hand, apps like DoorDash DASH,
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and UberEats flourished as diners shunned restaurants in favor of home delivery. The food delivery industry generates more than $150 billion globally, according to analysis by McKinsey & Co., a business advisory firm.

Those numbers have angered advocates who say workers aren’t getting their fair share.

“Enforcement workers run New York City. Without enforcement workers, New York City would be at a standstill,” said Aeraj Kazi, an advocate for drivers. the application is finally being able to oppose these big dogs.”

The coalition, which includes the NYC Rideshare Club, the United Delivery Workers Association and seven other groups, said many of its members were struggling to pay rent, afford cars and support their families.

In a statement, ride-sharing company Lyft LYFT,
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said he was willing to work with his drivers “to strengthen app-based working, prioritizing revenue, safety and protecting the independence and flexibility that drivers want”.

Immigrants like Peng Fei Zhang, who have to support a family of five, say they have no choice but to take delivery jobs because their poor command of English makes them more difficult to find other jobs.

Last month, new protections went into effect in New York City, including the right to use the restrooms of restaurants they deliver food to. The online companies that employ them must also disclose customers’ tips and tell workers how much they earn daily.

Until the new law, food delivery people were at the mercy of restaurateurs who didn’t always grant them permission to use their facilities. Some have resorted to bottles to urinate, said Dachuan Nie, the president of the International Delivery Alliance, who himself continues to deliver food for a living.

The coalition said it was focused on advocating for decent wages, better safety, quality health care, reliable access to toilets, the right to form a union and protections against abuse. to be unjustly prevented from receiving work.

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