We’re going to guess that most people have used an on-demand delivery or ride sharing service. If you haven’t, you certainly know someone who has.
These services offer convenience for consumers, and, in ways, convenience for their workers. However, there are also issues around working for these companies, including a lack of workers’ compensation benefits.
A group of couriers working for on-demand apps like Instacart, Postmates and Uber in New York recently joined to form the New York Messengers alliance. The group is attempting to unionize in order to stand up for their rights.
One of their biggest missions? To obtain workers’ compensation benefits.
The group also wants the companies to provide safety equipment for their jobs. Many of these workers bike in difficult conditions, especially in New York City. They want the company they work for to provide safety gear, such as helmets.
They are also looking for workers’ compensation benefits. One of the workers joining the alliance says he worked his delivery job this summer with a broken ankle because he couldn’t afford to lose the wages from taking time off.
Bikers working for on-demand apps are considered independent contractors, so they don’t get the same benefits as employees. They don’t receive workers’ compensation benefits or any type of time off for medical leave.
Many of the people working these jobs work for multiple services in order to make a full-time living. By forming an alliance with others in the delivery or courier industry, the group hopes to further their mission of creating a safer working environment.