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NYC Passes Legislative Protections for Food Delivery Workers

Plus: New York and New Jersey immigrant advocates protest deportations, politicians camp out to support NYC taxi drivers

Deanna Garcia

Sep 24, 2021

The job of delivery workers have changed since the inception of apps and platforms

Delivery workers march in New York City. Photo by Sol Aramendi provided to Documented by the Workers Justice Project

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Food delivery workers have played an essential role throughout the pandemic by delivering foods in atrocious weather, all while earning low wages and dealing with the threat of robbery. On Thursday, the New York City Council passed a legislative package that aims to improve pay and working conditions for delivery workers for app-based delivery services. The city is the first in the nation to improve these employees’ working conditions. According to the city, there are over 80,000 food delivery workers, and most of them are immigrants. But workers’ representatives said the bills still fall short, for example by qualifying food delivery workers as independent contractors who can’t receive workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits. The New York Times

Documented has reported on the hardships food delivery workers have been through the last year and a half, such as their struggle to survive the pandemic, hunger strike to demand relief and fight of continuous e-bike thefts.

In other local immigration news…

NY and NJ Immigrant Advocates Rally to Halt Deportations, Shut Down ICE Jails

Immigrant advocates across the U.S. held rallies Thursday pushing for an end to deportations and urging officials to shut down Immigration and Customs Enforcement jails. In New Jersey, about a dozen activists gathered outside of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez’s office in Jersey City to demand detained immigrants be released, not transferred to other detention facilities hundreds of miles away from their families and legal teams. 

Meanwhile in Manhattan’s Foley Square, over two dozen activists came together to protest ICE detention and the Biden administration’s treatment of Haitian migrants. Advocates raised their fists, chanted ‘abolish ICE,’ and held signs, some of which read: “Keep families together” and “Communities not cages.” Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio for Documented.

City Hall Camp Out in Solidarity with NYC Immigrant Taxi Drivers

New York Assembly members and New York City Council nominees joined NYC taxi drivers Tuesday as they continue to camp out in front of City Hall to demand Mayor Bill de Blasio enact the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance’s medallion debt forgiveness plan. Zohran K. Mamdani, Jessica Gonzales-Rojas, Ron Kim and Democratic nominees for City Council Felicia Singh, Shahana Hanif and Shekar Krishnan all attended. The emergence of Uber and Lyft dramatically reduced the value of medallions and decreased fare prices, plunging drivers into debt. This debt crisis impacted thousands of New Yorkers, 90% of them immigrants and of South Asian descent. Some drivers have even attempted or committed suicide. Deanna Garcia for Documented. 

Advocates Push to Boost $2B fund for NY’s Undocumented Workers

Advocacy groups for immigrant workers are calling on New York to add close to $1.4 billion to the $2.1 billion pandemic relief fund for undocumented workers. The state originally estimated the fund would benefit about 300,000 undocumented individuals who were ineligible for financial aid during the pandemic. As of Thursday afternoon, almost 92,000 people have been approved for the fund, of about 223,500 claims submitted. The Department of Labor informed advocates that it would alert applicants as soon as Friday if their assistance won’t be guaranteed, even if they’re eligible for it. It’s uncertain if or when the legislature would consider a boost in funding. Associated Press



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