NYC delivery workers now make $19 an hour, but many say apps have made tipping harder

New York City’s food delivery workers will now receive a minimum of $19.56 an hour, as part of a 2021 law that establishes better base wages for the more than 65,000 drivers and cyclists delivering food to New Yorkers’ doorsteps.

On Monday, delivery workers lauded the annual increase alongside Mayor Eric Adams and other city officials at City Hall, after years of pushing for minimum pay standards.

Prior to this wage increase, delivery workers for apps earned an average of $5.39 an hour prior to tips, according to city estimates.

“It’s going to help us economically, help our families and help us pay rent,” said Antonio Solis, a delivery worker for five years. “And with inflation here in New York, everything is more expensive so it’s important to have a higher salary for workers.”

App companies like DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber hire workers as independent contractors which means that, prior to the city rule, workers weren’t protected by federal or state minimum wage laws.

Workers, who began organizing collectively as Los Deliveristas Unidos during the pandemic, said they used to work 8-10 hour days in snow, extreme heat, or while navigating snarling traffic – to sometimes earn as little as $40 a day.

“It felt like begging,” said Rosario Reyes in Spanish, another deliverista. “We used to work so much for very little, now this helps us survive.

Reyes said her take home pay has doubled from $400 a week to $800.

The law passed in 2021 but four app companies sued to block its implementation last year, arguing the new pay scales would harm their businesses. But a judge sided with the city and allowed minimum pay rates to take effect.

Last year, the hourly rate before tips was set at $17.96. It was the first of several wage increases under the new minimum wage rule.

“We depend on our app delivery workers to deliver our food 24/7,” Adams said during a press conference at City Hall. “You wake up in the middle of the night and you want something to munch on, you can call delivery workers. Many people don’t realize when we legalized marijuana, people get the munchies. And so they will call any time of the day to get food delivered to them.”

He said delivery workers sustained New Yorkers and their families during the worst days of the pandemic and now the city was helping them provide for their families.

City Hall said apps have paid delivery workers $16.3 million more per week since the minimum hourly pay was established, an increase of about 165%. The Adams administration said customers and restaurants haven’t been affected since the number of deliveries remains the same at 2.6 million a week.

“This is hard working money that goes to mothers, that goes to fathers, that goes to kids who live in our communities, who now can finally be able to have some additional income to be able to pay rent, to afford food and to live in our beautiful city,” said Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Project, which helped advocate for more worker protections.

But she said the fight wasn’t over. Guallpa said app companies are making it harder for customers to tip and in recent months, have started deactivating workers from their accounts for unexplained reasons. Workers, too, said while they’ve seen their wages increase, their tips have declined.

Spokespeople for Uber, GrubHub and DoorDash said they will comply with the minimum pay rates. The companies acknowledged they’ve had to limit how many workers have access to the apps and changed how customers tip since the new rules went into effect and said those steps were necessary to meet new operational costs.

DoorDash now only allows consumers to tip after they checkout, a move a spokesperson said was necessary since the company had to increase customer fees.

GrubHub added the company hasn’t deactivated the accounts of workers on a mass scale but that any worker with a deactivated account can appeal online.

Pay rates will increase by another dollar in April 2025, adjusted for inflation.

Source link


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *