NYC food delivery workers face a ‘harrowing world’

0

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

New York City’s app-based delivery workers—a lifeline to city residents during the COVID-19 pandemic—regularly face nonpayment or underpayment, unsanitary or unsafe working conditions and the risk of violence, according to a new report released Sept. 13 by Los Deliveristas / Worker’s Justice Project and the Cornell University ILR School’s Worker Institute.

The report, “Essential but Unprotected,” examines the working conditions of app-based delivery workers engaged by digital platforms such as UberEATS, Doordash and GrubHub to deliver food to consumers in New York City.

“New York City’s food delivery workers risk their lives to bring hot, fresh meals to the doors of thousands every day,” said Ileen A. DeVault, professor of labor history at the ILR School and academic director of The Worker Institute.

“This report reveals the harrowing world these workers live in. They face danger everywhere—on the busy streets, in constant exposure to health threats, through low wages that trap their families in poverty, and through discrimination and unfair treatment by many ’employers,’ restaurant owners and customers,” DeVault said. “This report is a starting place for desperately needed reform.”

The experience of app-based food couriers in New York City illustrates the challenges that workers and advocates confront in achieving labor protections in the digital platform economy, researchers said. Like all workers in the gig-economy, platform workers fall in gray areas or outright gaps of existing legal frameworks, such that their employment status and relationship with the platforms remain unregulated.

The survey results revealed that the already precarious work conditions of food couriers only worsened during the pandemic, including issues of underpayment or nonpayment of base pay and tips. Around 42% of workers who participated in the study reported experiencing non-payment or underpayment.

The survey also found that for delivery workers, the workplace comprises the city streets, the restaurants where they pick up food, customers’ front doors and building lobbies and elevators. Although delivery workers are considered essential workers, they lack basic safeguards and sanitary conditions at work. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents reported having been in an accident or crash while making a delivery. Of these workers, 75% said that they had paid for the medical care with their personal funds.

The most serious danger that delivery workers confront is becoming victims of violent assault when their electric bikes are stolen. This widespread issue also worsened during the pandemic. Fifty-four percent of the survey participants reported having experienced bike theft, and about 30% of these said that they were physically assaulted during the robbery.

The report involved both primary and secondary research, including a survey of 500 app-based couriers doing deliveries in New York City, focus groups with workers and individual interviews. The study details the harsh working conditions workers face in the unregulated industry.

The goals of the research, funded by the Workers’ Justice Project, with additional support from the ILR School and the state of New York, are to raise awareness among stakeholders about the pressing issues that app-based delivery workers face in the largely unregulated platform economy and to help inform policy and organizational solutions to such issues.


Small-scale worker resistance impacts food delivery economy in China


Provided by
Cornell University


Citation:
NYC food delivery workers face a ‘harrowing world’ (2021, September 14)
retrieved 14 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-nyc-food-delivery-workers-harrowing.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

 

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Gamers Greade is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Comments
Loading...