Food delivery workers deserve better working conditions


Clare Sharkey | The Ticker

Barbara Chang

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, food delivery has become an essential part of every New Yorker’s life. Therefore, New York restaurants and third-party app companies should make sure that fair working conditions for delivery workers are met.

Recently, the New York City Council pushed a package of bills that seek to address the harsh conditions that food delivery workers endure every day.

One of the bills allows workers to use the restrooms at restaurant pick-up locations, which is one of the top priorities for delivery drivers. Another bill in the package will let delivery staff choose their travel distance boundaries without getting fined.

The bundle of bills also will try to institute a charge for deliveries that correspond to New York’s $15 per hour minimum wage policy, to make companies install cushioned bags on delivery bikes for their protection, to enforce weekly salaries for delivery workers and to offer payment alternatives for the delivery drivers who don’t have bank accounts.

Although the package of bills to improve delivery drivers’ working circumstances is a good start, there are still a couple of things that should be added.

None of the bills point out protection for delivery drivers theft of expensive delivery bikes. Additionally, no bill in the package suggests more efficient support from the New York City Police Department for delivery workers when they’re on the streets.

Also, a bill should prevent restaurants from formulating their own rules regarding delivery drivers, since the New York City Hospitality Alliance wants to allow restaurants to have the freedom to set the protocols.

This way, all restaurants will follow universally accepted regulations when it comes to managing

their delivery drivers to avoid injustice and unfair treatment.

It is great to see City Council members caring and attempting to improve the situation for delivery drivers, even though it doesn’t go far enough.

“Imagine riding for 10 or 12 hours in today’s heat only to take home five bucks an hour,” Council Member and comptroller candidate Brad Lander said, according to CBS New York.

Lander’s sympathy for delivery drivers in New York is what is motivating him to use the bills to make conditions better by giving the workers a minor payment every time they make a delivery.

Delivery drivers work very hard but they don’t make the income they deserve, so this bill will at least ensure that they get their money on time without unnecessary cuts.

“A lot of these big billion-dollar app companies treat these workers like trash, and we’re not going to stand for that,” Council Member Justin Brannan said, as reported by CBS New York.