Letter: Concerns about the creation of a delivery worker minimum wage

Roughly 54% of NYC food couriers who were surveyed in a Los Deliveristas/Workers Justice Project-Cornell report said they were victims of bike theft, and about 30% said that they were physically assaulted during the robbery.
Photo Adrian Childress

To the Editor,

I’ve heard that the city is setting a minimum wage for food delivery workers, which sounds great in theory because it could mean that delivery workers earn more money. But I’m concerned that these changes could impact workers like me, who depend on the flexibility that comes with this kind of work, and may not have the same opportunities moving forward.

I started making food deliveries with apps like DoorDash back in 2019 when I couldn’t continue with my job as a carpenter as I was recovering from a number of injuries and surgeries. It became a great way to earn some money at a time when I couldn’t continue with my regular job. Meanwhile, I was also drawn by the opportunity to help others, whether that was through delivering a delicious dinner to families or helping homebound seniors get meals during the pandemic.

I kept doing work as a side hustle to my other job delivering pharmacy prescriptions, and have come to love the flexibility of being able to make my own schedule and adjust how much or little I want to work. I can simply turn on any of the apps, get on my bike, and go — no set schedule or requirements on where I have to be at a given time.

I wouldn’t be able to continue doing this work if not for that flexibility, and I am concerned that these new rules would impact my ability to keep working if suddenly I had to work only at specific times, or there are fewer orders for me to accept. I hope that the city listens to these concerns and does not take any action that may hurt our flexibility to work on our own terms.

Brigitte Harris