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Seattle COVID-19 rules have worked for delivery app drivers. What’s next?

Seattle was the first city in the country to pass laws requiring premium wages during sick pubs, sick days for delivery program drivers, and those laws to be lifted a year later in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The city estimates that the $ 2.50 premium for each trip has given millions of dollars to drivers working on food delivery programs like DoorDash և Food Delivery Services like Instacart. Such companies have paid more than $ 600,000 to resolve complaints investigated by the City Labor Standards Office.

However, current laws expire after the epidemic ends, so Seattle officials may soon consider permanent protection, including legislation requiring drivers to pay drivers the equivalent of a minimum wage of $ 16 per city hour. Because drivers are classified as contractors, they are a little more independent but do not have employee rights or privileges.

An employee advocacy group that launched a lobbying campaign in early 2020 recently updated that campaign: “The bill being discussed by the City Council would recommend that the council pay the delivery supplement by September.”

Seattle has already passed the paid standards for hail swimmers and domestic workers. Now the delivery attachments section has become too backward to be ignored by the municipality. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during this time of year, with virus outbreaks occurring in households.

COVID-19 reported on the work as delivery drivers noted how significant they had become. At the same time, investor-backed application companies have capitalized on home orders and businesses have grown. DoorDash recently bought Caviar, and Uber, which operates at Uber Eats, recently bought Postmates.

“This past year has given more leverage to app-based employees, it has given more power to companies,” said Margaret O’Mara, a University of Washington policy and technology industry expert. “Everything has improved.”

Defense, challenges

According to the Seattle Epidemic, delivery service companies must pay drivers an additional $ 2.50 for each trip; they must provide drivers with paid sick leave for every 30 days they work in the city. The council’s mayor, Durka, said the laws compensate drivers for COVID-19 risks, cleaning equipment and vehicles.

“The premium salary has made a ‘significant difference,'” said driver Jason Slavson, who praised the city’s performance. When Slavson complained that DoorDash was not giving him credit for his sick days with Caviar, the Office of Labor Standards launched an investigation.

“They took the ball and ran with it,” said Slavson, 61.

To settle the matter, DoorDash last month agreed to pay about $ 15,500 in back pay, damages, interest and fines to 10 drivers, including Slavson, and said it would pay about $ 145,000 to about 900 other Caviar drivers.

Last summer, surveys of some drivers claiming they did not pay premiums from DoorDash և Postmates resulted in settlements around $ 111,000 և $ 250,000. The office also has secure housing with Uber. Thousands of drivers were paid back, showing “how many people are affected” by the city’s defense. This was stated by the director of the office Steven Marchez.

Raymond Evans also received a COVID-19 premium payment. But a long-term solution is needed, says Evans, who supports the Seattle Washington-based Pay Up campaign.

The 45-year-old man said he recently drove 21 miles to make four deliveries to Apple stores է paid only $ 35, including tips, running money, Apple bonus և Seattle’s three down payment : The work took two hours, he said.

“It simply came to our notice then. “Everyone is calling on those corporations,” he said. “There has to be a consensus in society that people deserve to eat.”

There was a moment during the epidemic of racism last summer when Evans felt that more and more customers were waking up to his reality as a CC man trying to make ends meet. He added that the added hints and waves did not last long.

“People have returned to their comfort zones,” Evans said.

Town hall

In 2019, the Seattle Council asked the Advisory Committee to consider how companies can stop classifying group employees as contractors. President Biden’s secretary-general spoke out against the model last month.

But court challenges still have to break that model, with California voters approving an industry-backed initiative last year that strengthened the status quo there, so cities like Seattle are looking at other approaches.

The bill, which is currently being passed through the board, will require companies to provide their contractors with pre-contractual terms and timely payments.

These requirements could have strengthened the band’s staff to some extent. But hard-working Washington advocates say the real problem is low, inadequate wages.

So board member Lisa Herbold added a section stating that the board intends to ensure that such employees are paid the minimum wage in Seattle while maintaining their contractor status. It says that the council will discuss the issue in July-August, and then will vote.

The message to the application companies is: “You need to start taking it seriously,” said Herbold, who recently met with lobbyists from DoorDash, Uber and Instacart.

Road ahead

The work of a legislative orchestra can be difficult. Seattle may face the companies involved. Last year, Instacart filed a lawsuit against the city premium wage law, և the case is still active.

“I do not want to change anything,” said Slavson, who earns $ 30 an hour through apps. “But I can be an exceptional case. I can not speak for an ordinary depressed worker. ”

Uttam Mukherjee would like to see the delivery workers who dine at his Capitol Hill Spice Waala restaurant get paid fairly. He wants the city to make its 15% COVID-19 cap permanent on commissions charged from restaurants for shipping applications; he is not sure how those laws will interact.

“We need business (from applications) to survive,” he said. “I do not know what it means (salary standard).”

DoorDash և Uber said they were happy to reach out to the Seattle Office of Labor Standards, but warned of further action.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with City Council to discuss the pay for delivery workers, but warn that this is a difficult issue,” said DoorDash spokeswoman Brianna Megidd.

Uber spokesman Harry Hartfield responded. He said Seattle’s “ill-conceived” minimum wage law had helped boost drivers’ prices.

Working Washington CEO Rachel Lauter was pushed back. The organization’s campaign is supported by a number of community groups and trade unions.

“These workers are the people we relied on during the epidemic,” he said. “Thinking about how much money these companies have made, how little money has been given to working people, makes it even more powerful.”

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