Mayor Eric Adams and Senator Chuck Schumer joined with delivery workers on Sunday to announce that the primarily immigrant workforce will be getting the nation’s first minimum wage rate for app-based jobs.
Delivery workers will finally be getting their fair share, Adams announced on June 11, with a dramatic pay increase, skyrocketing to $19.96 an hour by 2025. Mayor Adams said the booming industry employs more than 60,000 workers who currently struggle to bring home food to their families despite having to deliver food to other families.
“These workers, their families can earn a living. They should not be delivering food to your households if they can’t put food on the plate in their households,” Adams said. “We are balancing out on both sides of the equation.”
The pay bump will go into effect on July 12, bringing delivery workers from $7 an hour to at least $17.96 an hour, at which time New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said her agency will monitor apps by demanding that they file detailed reports. The rate will also be adjusted annually for inflation.
Apps have the option to pay delivery workers per trip, per hour worked, or develop their own formulas, as long as their workers make the minimum pay rate, officials said.
For many, this is a long-fought victory that has taken years to win and even more struggling.
“Today marks a historic moment for New York City. The Worker’s Justice Project is grateful to Mayor Adams and his administration for setting a minimum pay rate for our city’s more than 60,000 app-based food delivery workers,” Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Project, said. “This rule will set the pay floor for all the essential deliveristas who work tirelessly — whether through a pandemic, a snowstorm or wildfire smoke — and who have been denied a living wage for far too long. Now, these workers who keep millions of New Yorkers fed will know they can keep their own families fed, too.”
DCWP said they will be conducting worker outreach regarding the new minimum pay rate and all rights under the city’s delivery worker laws. Additionally, there will be numerous multilingual resource available with regards to pay rate information, delivery worker laws, and a section to file complaints. Workers can also contact 311 for information or to report grievances.
While the news culminated with delivery workers happily embracing one another, a number of them coming to tears during the announcement, some citywide elected officials believe that Adams’ deliveries for delivery workers are “watered-down.”
“Delivery workers should be paid at least the minimum wage after expenses, for every hour they work including the time spent waiting for their next delivery. Today’s watered-down rule fails to require that,” Comptroller Brad Lander said in a statement. “Hidden under regulatory double-speak, the rule’s average base wage for a deliverista will be just $12.69 per hour after expenses this year, according to our office’s calculations.”
Lander’s statement seems to signal a continued feud between the two pols after the mayor blasted the comptroller last week for not traveling to Washington, DC to lobby for federal migrant aid.
On Sunday, Lander charged that he himself was a part of 2021’s Council-led Local Law 115 which put forth rules to establish minimum wage payments for food delivery workers by January 2023. He called the mayor’s minimum wage announcement a hollow representation of that.
“I respect their decision to stand with the Mayor today to announce its overdue adoption,” he said. “A subminimum pay standard is better than no pay standard at all.”