NYC Passes Landmark Laws to Protect Delivery Workers


Members of the grassroots organization Los Deliveristas Unidos

Today’s vote is an expected victory for delivery workers.
Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

The City Council has passed a historic slate of bills meant to improve working conditions for New York City’s delivery workers. It’s a big deal: The package — a direct response to the activism of Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group of mostly immigrant delivery workers — ensures delivery drivers bathroom access and minimum pay per trip, among other long-overdue protections.

“We’ve seen them face everything from COVID-19 exposure to waist-deep flood waters to violent attacks, all in a day’s work,” Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who’s worked closely with Los Deliveristas, told Grub via email before the vote. “The package of bills passing today marks a critical first step toward securing rights, protections, and justice for our delivery workers.”

The measures even had support from at least one major delivery platform: a spokesperson for GrubHub told The City that the company “supports the proposals … that would provide a number of new protections.”

So what are those proposals, exactly, and how do they affect delivery workers? Here’s a breakdown of the basics:

Delivery workers will (finally) be allowed to use the bathroom
During the pandemic, the right to pee became a hot-button issue. Most other bathroom options had evaporated, and yet many restaurants wouldn’t let delivery workers use their bathrooms (even though, one might note, those same delivery workers were a lifeline for restaurants, which for months were prohibited from serving on the premises at all). New York City still won’t have an actual public-bathroom infrastructure, but a bill from Councilmember Rivera requires restaurants to allow delivery workers to use their restrooms as long as they’re picking up an order. Restaurants caught denying workers access will face fines — $50 for the first offense and $100 for every violation after.

There will be minimum per-trip payments
On average, delivery workers earn $7.87 an hour before tips, or about half of the city’s minimum wage, according to a recent report from the Workers’ Justice Project and the Worker Institute at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell. With tips, that goes up to $12.21 — still well below the minimum. This bill changes that by establishing minimum per-trip payments independent of tips.

Apps will have to tell customers where their tips go
Any app that solicits tips will now be required to disclose to customers exactly where that money goes. That means laying out how much of each tip goes to the delivery worker, in what form it gets to the delivery worker (is it cash?), and whether the tip is paid out immediately.

The apps will also be required to extend that kind of transparency to delivery workers, who will be immediately notified if they’d been tipped, how much they’d been tipped, whether a customer had made changes to an existing tip, and, if a reason was provided, why. Every day, the platforms will now be required to alert workers of their total earnings — in both compensation and gratuities — from the day before.

Payment — and payment schedule — will be more regulated
This one is relatively straightforward: Delivery platforms will no longer be allowed to charge workers any fees to receive wages and tips, will be required to pay workers at least once a week, and are required to offer at least one payment option that doesn’t require a bank account.

Delivery companies will have to provide workers with insulated bags
Those ubiquitous thermal delivery bags? They’re an unofficial job requirement, workers say, and could run them up to $60 out of pocket. Now, though, food-delivery apps will be required to make the insulated bags available to any courier who has completed at least six deliveries for the company, and are prohibited from charging any money for the bags.

Workers can limit their personal delivery zones
The most controversial of the bunch, delivery workers will now be able to set limits on how far they’re willing to travel for a delivery. The’ll also be able specify whether or not they’ll accept trips over bridges and tunnels — known danger zones for e-bike couriers — without penalty.

For Sergio Ajche, a Guatemalan food-delivery worker and organizer with Los Deliveristas, this is only the beginning. “These six bills will help workers, but they’re not enough,” he told The City yesterday. “Only time, each passing day will inform us what else we should change and demand. Every day more delivery workers are getting together and the movement grows. We’re making progress.”

The package now goes to de Blasio — a supporter of the measures — to sign.



Source link

Spread the love

'Circumstances are odd' police say, after boyfriend of missing woman returns home, hires attorney – Wink News



‘Circumstances are odd’ police say, after boyfriend of missing woman returns home, hires attorney  Wink News



Source link

Spread the love

Why Newsom Is Telling California Voters to Leave Half the Ballot Blank


Unlike the sprawling forms Californians usually contend with in the voting booths, the ballots for the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom ask only two questions:

Should Newsom be recalled? And who should replace him?

But, if my inbox is any indication, the short ballot is far from simple.

I’ve gotten questions from opponents of the recall who want to know whether answering the second question will invalidate their “no” vote on the first (it won’t). Some Democrats are looking for guidance on choosing the least conservative Republican replacement, in case the recall succeeds. And many voters are befuddled as to why Newsom has been telling people to ignore the second question all together.

“The single greatest confusion of this election is what your rights are in participating in the replacement election,” Raphael Sonenshein, the executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles, told me. “Voting should be simple, and this is not so simple.”

California’s peculiar recall laws dating back to 1911 shoulder most of the blame for this mess.

Recalls here are a two-step process: Voters decide whether to remove a candidate from office, and also who should be the replacement. (There are some states where the lieutenant governor automatically takes over for a recalled governor, but most states have voters select the replacement.)

What’s unusual about California’s law is that it requires both elections to happen on the same day, on the same ballot. And the incumbent, in this case Newsom, is barred from running in the replacement election.

So that leaves Democrats to negotiate a tricky political calculus: How do you endorse a replacement candidate when you don’t want the governor to be replaced at all?

Well, there’s Option A: Support a politically aligned Democrat in the replacement race and hope the candidate isn’t so popular that people vote to recall Newsom because they’d prefer the backup. Or, Option B: Ignore the second question and focus on the first.

The latter seems to be Newsom’s strategy. “One question. One answer. No on the recall. Move on. Send in the ballot,” the governor said recently.

In the 2003 recall election of another Democratic governor, Gray Davis, the party went the other route. Cruz Bustamante, the popular Democratic lieutenant governor, ran as a replacement candidate. Yet when Davis was ousted, he was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican candidate.

Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at Wagner College’s Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform, said there’s no evidence that having a prominent candidate from your party on the replacement ballot increases your odds of staying in office. In other words, Newsom’s strategy may be the best way for him to win the recall.

“When you’re in the majority, it makes a lot of sense to have a stark choice, and having two different people to vote for is not a stark choice,” Spivak said. “The optics of saying ‘Ignore the second question,’ I think that’s particularly bad, but not necessarily the logic behind it, which makes a lot of sense.”

Bustamante himself, who now runs a consulting firm, told The Los Angeles Times last month that he supported the party’s decision not to endorse a replacement. On his own ballot, he said, he left the second question blank.

Still, confusion reigns.

In a poll released Wednesday, 49 percent of likely voters said they either wouldn’t fill out the second question or didn’t know who to vote for. Some California newspapers that have endorsed voting against the recall have recommended leaving the second question blank, while others have urged the opposite.

I’ve gotten a handful of emails from people who said they wrote in Newsom’s name for the second question, even though they knew it wouldn’t count. They just didn’t know what else to do.

Jessica Levinson, who teaches election law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said it was a “disaster” that members of the Democratic Party, who are supposed to be champions of voting rights, are advising people to leave parts of their ballots blank.

“Why would you say don’t even exercise your right to weigh in for who the next governor could be?” she said.

Levinson added that it was strategic for the Democratic Party not to endorse an alternative to Newsom. He will most likely run for governor again in 2022, she said, and it would be easier to win against a Republican, especially one who secured only a small fraction of votes in the recall election.

For more:

  • The New York Times has answers to your frequently asked questions about the recall election. Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to endorsements by California newspapers.

  • Democrats are hoping the new Texas law banning most abortions will motivate voters to support their party. Newsom warned on Twitter this week that the Texas ban “could be the future of CA” if the recall were successful. Read more from my colleague Reid J. Epstein on the political ripples of the Texas legislation.

  • In case you missed it, a poll released on Wednesday shows strong support for Newsom, with 58 percent of likely voters saying they would reject the recall. Read more from Politico.

  • In 1911, California voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure that made the state the third to allow recalls. I wrote about the history of recalls this week.

  • More than five million ballots have already been turned in. Keep track here.


In her latest newsletter, The Times’s California restaurant critic, Tejal Rao, shares panzanella recipes, which give a second life to stale bread.

Today’s travel tip comes from Mackenzie Skye, a reader who recommends visiting Mendocino, which she calls “truly one of the most beautiful places.”

Tell us about the best spots to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.


This week I finished reading “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art” by the journalist James Nestor. It’s no easy feat to write about biology and medicine in a breezy, even funny way, but Nestor pulls it off.

The Dapper Dans, the pinstripe-suit-clad, straw-hat-wearing, a cappella singing group, is returning to Disneyland on Friday.

The barbershop quartet is set to return to Main Street U.S.A. as part of the next phase of the park’s reopening, reports The Orange County Register.

The group had its first rehearsal last week after the pandemic kept it apart for 17 months. The Dans are prepping Halloween dance numbers and songs, plus a bonus.

“We’re working on one little extra thing,” John Glaudini, a Disney Live Entertainment music producer, told the newspaper. “A little gift.”


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Tuesday. Enjoy your long weekend. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Beach house support (5 letters).

Steven Moity and Miles McKinley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.



Source link

Spread the love