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Gig Economy

Driver-Owned Ride-Hailing App Is Putting Its Foot On The Accelerator

Sometimes the money’s good, sometimes not so good. Either way, Shaun Beckles loves the human aspect of working as a for-hire vehicle driver — getting to know fares even just a little in passing, gaining a glimpse into so many different lives over the course of a single shift. “I’ve always liked driving for the mere fact that you get to meet some interesting people who can connect with your passion, you’d be surprised,” says Beckles, now operations manager at The Drivers Cooperative. The driver-owned ride-hailing platform, which launched in 2021, is hitting some major milestones this year: It has a new app, it’s the official transportation partner for Juneteenth NY, and

Food Delivery Workers Secure Landmark Minimum Pay Rate

App-based food delivery workers in New York City will earn $17.96 an hour before tips beginning July 12, an amount that takes into account their costs of operating, Mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday afternoon. With the rate, New York will become the first major U.S. city to establish and implement pay requirements for delivery workers toiling in the gig economy. The hourly rate will increase to $19.96 before tips by April 1, 2025, the mayor said. The standard is a significant increase from the estimated $11 hourly workers currently earn after tips.

Flexible Work Without Exploitation

Digital platform companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash are waging increasingly aggressive campaigns to erode long-standing labor rights and consumer protections in states across the country. Though they rely on the labor of millions of workers to provide their services, platform companies have established a business model on the premise that they employ no one. This business model has been built by denying workers fundamental rights and protections through outright refusal to follow existing laws, widespread misclassification of workers as “independent contractors,” payment of subminimum wages, and shifting of primary risks and costs of doing business onto individual workers, consumers, and public safety net programs.

Rapid Grocery Delivery Service Buyk Accused Of Wage Theft

In early March, 28-year-old Michael Perez received an alarming email from one of his co-workers at Buyk, the Russian-funded, New York City-based ultra-fast grocery app. Because of the severe sanctions against Russia, the letter announced, the company had lost access to its investors and was forced to furlough 98 percent of its workforce. For Perez, the letter was just one more disappointment in a long string he had experienced working for the company. “I was at a loss of words, to be honest,” said Perez, who worked as a delivery person. “I try to make the best with the company, but I just kept getting disappointed.” Prior to its abrupt closure, Buyk was one of the largest and most rapidly growing ultrafast grocery delivery apps in New York City, promising its customers deliveries in 15 minutes or less.

On Contact: The Gig Economy

After the end of World War II, two generations of workers in the United States were blessed with a period of unprecedented prosperity. Wages for the working class were high. Jobs were stable and came with benefits and health insurance. Unions protected workers from abuse by the business elites. Taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations was as high as 91%. The public school system provided a quality education to the poor and the rich. The nation’s infrastructure and technology were cutting edge and unrivaled. But by the 1970s, it all began to go south. Wages stagnated. Income inequality grew, until by 2008, the top wealthiest 10% of Americans received 87% of the economic growth, compared with 29% from 1933 to 1973. The good industrial jobs vanished. In their place rose the temp or gig economy, one where wages were low, the jobs were not secure and did not provide benefits, unions were emasculated, and the nation’s great democratic institutions, along with its infrastructure, crumbled into decay.

Improvements For NYC’s Delivery Workers’ Safety And Working Conditions To Start In January

A slate of city laws for delivery workers is set to kick in the new year and will roll out in stages, commencing in January with more oversight of the delivery apps and increased transparency for the more than 65,000 delivery workers in New York City. Starting next month, delivery apps must be licensed by the city to operate in the five boroughs. By January 24th, licensed apps that take customer orders directly will be required to notify delivery workers how much each customer tips for each delivery, and the total pay and tips for the previous day. The city will now require that restaurants provide the delivery workers with better access to restrooms.

Europe Finally Recognizes Platform Workers Aren’t Self-Employed

Sometimes change comes from the most unlikely of places. The European Commission—the unelected body of technocrats that designs European Union legislation—isn’t exactly known as a friend of the worker. EU commissioners and their staff are more likely to be found having coffee with corporate lobbyists than rubbing shoulders with the working class. Yet, last week, the EU Commission proposed what some are hailing as the most pro-worker reform to come out of the EU in years—a directive to regulate platform work. Often unfairly treated as self-employed, platform workers are now to be considered employees and thus entitled to the labor rights that are standard for most workers in Europe.

Courts Worldwide Ruling That Gig Economy Is A Road To Serfdom

The tech industry buzzword “gig” has distracted society from important questions about the gig economy that are surprisingly traditional: whether a business has employees or contractors, and how it can avoid payroll taxes and legal liability. Countless Silicon Valley business models have been built under the guise of gigs, Uber and Lyft two of the best known cases, which is ironic considering that for all of their high-tech pretensions, at the core both are taxi and food delivery services.
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