Mining wage

Gig Workers Demand Seattle City Council Provide Minimum Wage – Slog

A special delivery to the council: bags labeled with receipts showing the actual amount a driver was paid for delivering groceries and takeout. hong kong

On a normal Wednesday afternoon, gig workers in Seattle might drop off a hot meal or groceries, but today a delegation of gig workers brought a message to city leaders: It’s time to deliver for the gig workers.

That message came in the form of 400 take-out bags — including a 6-foot-tall bag — dropped off at City Hall by gig workers from apps including DoorDash, Instacart and Shipt. Workers labeled the bags with receipts showing the actual amount a driver was paid for a delivery. Some receipts showed negative amounts, indicating the driver had lost money taking the gig.


“[App-based delivery services] want the benefits of having workers without giving any of the benefits that we as a culture have decided workers deserve,” said Mikey Pullman, driver at DoorDash. “It’s the city council’s job to protect the people who live here.”

Protesters hoped their display would spur the city council to pass a new suite of protections called the “Pay Up” order for gig workers, who are excluded from basic labor standards.

Construction workers want a whole host of basic worker rights – from access to toilets to protection from discrimination – but their first priority for the city council is a minimum payment ordinance, which would guarantee the minimum wage plus expenses with a per-minute and per-mile floor for the “committed time” required to perform each service.

A lot of time goes into a delivery. Once a driver accepts a job, they must drive to the restaurant or store, enter the order, and drive to the customer. InstaCart customer Michelle Balzer gave an example of a recent order: To pick up 58 items from a grocery store, InstaCart offered her $10.23, excluding tip. The drive alone would take 40 minutes round trip to Balzer, and she sometimes finds herself queuing at busy stores for up to 45 minutes during rush hour. So that $10 offer could easily be over an hour of work before Balzer even factors in how long she needs to find groceries.

Here is the big bag

Here is the big bag hong kong

To reach his weekly goal of $800, Balzer actively shops around 35-40 hours. She said she easily worked another 20 unpaid hours between finding gigs and driving. That $800 doesn’t include the money she and other gig workers spend on gas, car payments and repairs. Pullman said it costs about $500 a month just to drive his car to work.

The council considered a bill for this Pay Up order that would require companies such as DoorDash and InstaCart to pay or ensure a worker receives a minimum payment for “committed time” and “committed miles”. “Engagement time” is the time a worker provides services for an offer, and “engagement miles” are the miles a worker travels during the engagement time.

For an on-demand worker like a food delivery person, “committed time” would begin when a worker accepts an offer and end when the worker fulfills the offer. In Balzer’s case, that would include going to the grocery store, shopping, waiting in line, and then going to delivery. In other cases, where workers schedule a service more than two hours in advance, commitment time begins when the worker arrives at the site and ends when the task is completed.

At the Public Safety and Human Services Committee last week, central staff said pay per minute would be $0.39, which takes the equivalent of minimum wage multiplied by 1.13 for associated costs. (they have to pay their own insurance as contractors) and 1.21 for associated time (they have to take breaks). The payment amount per mile would be $0.79, which is based on the IRS standard mileage amount multiplied by an associated mileage factor that accounts for workers having to drive more than is counted in committed miles. The legislation would also provide a baseline, so even though all those fancy calculations give them a lousy rate, the worker is guaranteed $5 per run.

The council has helped gig workers before. In 2021, they approved Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “fare sharing” proposal to ensure all transit drivers receive a fair wage.

But not everyone was enthusiastic about the delivery driver bill at last week’s meeting.

Council member Sara Nelson, a regular advocate for commercial interests, worried that the single, far-reaching regulation would create different impacts for businesses by squeezing them into a single framework.

She also criticized Fare Share, which she said made rides more expensive and too expensive for some passengers. For this reason, she said hourly pay might have increased, but at the expense of available work.

She said the average pay standard for delivery drivers under Pay Up would be about 170% of Seattle’s minimum wage. Nelson’s office said that figure is the addition of the associated time factor, the associated cost factor and the minimum compensation per mile.

In what has become classic Nelson fashion, she said, emphasizing mine: “I am in favor of providing workers in the gig economy with a living wage. Corn my question is what type of analysis has been done to anticipate the impacts of the increase in the cost of deliveries on small businesses such as restaurants or on drivers.

Drivers aren’t impressed with his statement.

“She repeats the same things that companies say, ‘It’s okay for us to fuck people because it would cost us money if we didn’t,'” Pullman said. “We already know she’s not well educated on the subject, otherwise she wouldn’t say things like that.”

Council member Alex Pedersen, who recently voted against the workers with Nelson, asked about the precedent for these types of protections. During the vote to honor former mayor Jenny Durkan’s veto of the council’s decision to end hazard pay for grocery store workers, Pedersen doubled down and voted to end it again. He wanted workers to earn those protections in their own contract.

If he were to take over that position, Balzer said she had little time to lobby the board, let alone organize the gig economy.

“Drivers will see a $2 offer and just accept it because they need the money,” Pullman said. “I can’t expect this person to navigate creating a system that will benefit them. It would be like showing up and expecting you as a cook to do your own cooking before you get to work.

He added: “That’s the council’s job.”

Starting Feb. 17, Councilwoman Lisa Herbold’s plan is to introduce the bill, which has already been discussed three times, in early March.

“Gig workers have been on the front lines during the pandemic, footing the bill for masks and other sanitizing equipment to maintain public health for themselves and their patrons,” Herbold said. “It’s high time we had a solution that guarantees a minimum wage, flexibility, transparency and guarantees that tips are tips and go directly to workers.”