Today, the New York City Council is likely to pass a package of legislation that will set minimum pay and improve working conditions for app-based delivery workers.
Patricia Campos-Medina, executive director of the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, recently published a report with the Los Deliveristas / Worker's Justice Project showing NYC’s app-based delivery workers regularly face nonpayment or underpayment, unsanitary or unsafe working conditions and the risk of violence. She says the protections expected to be approved today are needed, but much more must be done.
“Protections expected to be approved today are basic and needed. But, they are the floor. Much more is needed to grant these workers the power to make their work livable.
“The protections being considered address basic needs app-based workers must have for some level of dignity on the job. From here, we need to move into a policy debate where we develop a local and statewide regulatory framework that gives app-based workers the rights to negotiate work arrangements with employers.
“App companies have anchored their business model on the independent contractor premise, thereby shifting the costs of operations and safety net protections to the workers, consumers and, ultimately, to the broader society. Failure to regulate these applications and failure by policymakers to define who has responsibility in this gig/independent contractor model is leaving workers across the platform economy without basic human and worker rights protections.”