Earlier this month, the City of New York ruled that app-based delivery workers should have a higher minimum pay, effective on July 12th. Now, that effective date has been delayed after lawsuits were filed by Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub.
The rule, proposed by The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWA), established a minimum hourly pay of $17.96 in 2023, set to increase to $18.96 in 2024, and $19.96 in 2025.
DoorDash and Grubhub's joint lawsuit called the rule "unlawful, arbitrary and capricious," and Uber's lawsuit said that increased pay would crush the food delivery market. But many app-based delivery workers say their pay is unsustainable.
"It's unconscionable that multi-billion dollar companies would now turn around and continue to do everything in their power to prevent New York City's more than 65,000 app-based delivery workers from earning a livable wage," said Los Deliveristas Unidos, a movement representing NYC's app-based delivery workers.
DoorDash and Grubhub also claimed that the DCWA was ignoring "over emphatic objections from a range of constituents." However, comments from dissatisfied constituents are still against the apps' interests. Many believe that the minimum pay is still not enough, and that delivery workers should be paid for all time they spend on-call.
"What they have created is a scenario in which the companies will continue to have the upper hand at our expense," said David, a disgruntled delivery driver. "Not paying us for on-call time is unacceptable, especially on days where it’s very slow with only 1–2 trip offers per hour."
The lawsuit filed by DoorDash and Grubhub protested the notion of on-call pay, insinuating that they couldn't trust their own delivery drivers. It described how drivers may run personal errands, while "passively receiving (and not even reviewing) delivery offers," or that they would work with another delivery service and be logged in to multiple platforms.
"This latest legal maneuver to prop up their business model comes at the expense of workers who can barely survive in a city facing a massive affordability crisis," The Deliveristas said.
The corporations also contested DCWA's alternate proposal of $33.00 an hour, which was still designed to compensate workers for all on-call time. Still, there are other justifications for higher pay, such as safety concerns.
"If anything, they deserve hazard pay-levels of wages," said Alex Jacobson. "Biking on NYC streets is DANGEROUS,"
The Deliveristas believe the latest move is only a temporary delay.
"We must continue to organize, fight and stand together," they said. "Make no mistake: the apps will continue to try to divide us and fight us because they know how powerful we are when we all come together."