by Carmen Figueroa
I’ve been working as a delivery driver on Grubhub and Postmates for the last four years, but being a gig worker during COVID-19 has been the most surreal experience of my life. The gig companies have experienced a pandemic boom: DoorDash saw sales triple, Instacart signed up a half-million new workers, Postmates and Grubhub were purchased for billions of dollars each, and online delivery became a way of life for millions of customers.
But the bonanza didn’t extend to delivery workers. The overwhelming number of orders combined with food shortages and skeleton crews at restaurants led to extreme wait times for deliveries, so orders that paid just $3 could take up to an hour. Apps took advantage of the influx of newly laid off employees flocking to gig work to push pay even lower, knowing drivers were desperate for orders and would take whatever we could get.
That’s why I’ve joined with thousands of gig workers in the Pay Up Campaign to pass new worker-driven laws in Seattle that raise pay, protect flexibility, and provide transparency to people working in the gig economy. We are not expendable and should not be exploited.Continue reading OPINION: We Need the Flexibility Gig Work Promises and Basic Rights