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12 Oct 2021

Jackie Davalos, Bloomberg

New York delivery drivers face low pay even as risks mount

Food delivery drivers were lauded as essential workers while they ferried meals to customers amid Covid-19 lockdowns that brought New York City to a standstill. ... [T]he couriers powering platforms like DoorDash Inc. Grubhub, and Uber Technologies Inc. are plagued by low pay and lack of basic protections even as their risks grow, a new report shows.

... After accounting for expenses like electric bikes and batteries, the median hourly wage for delivery workers in New York city is $7.94, excluding tips, according to a study conducted by advocacy group Workers' Justice Project in partnership with Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

... "New York City's app-based workers already faced poor work conditions even before Covid-19" [Maria Figueroa, an author of the study and Dean of SUNY Empire State College] said. "The pandemic just made them worse."

... A DoorDash spokeswoman called the study's findings "misleading," and said the company's delivery workers receive 100% of their tips and earn $33 an hour in Manhattan. "We are actively engaged with the Dasher community and eager to engage with policymakers on ways all stakeholders can better support New York City delivery workers," she said.

A Grubhub spokesman said the safety of its delivery workers is a "top priority." He declined to provide specific pay figures by said couriers get to keep their tips "100% of the time" and the company works to "make sure they receive competitive pay on the Grubhub marketplace."

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