Gig Workers Rising Response To New Uber Mask Policy

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A statement from Gig Workers Rising on Uber’s new requirement about masks for drivers and riders.

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Also, the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Social Transformation released a recent study on the economic impacts of COVID-19 on gig economy workers. The results speak to the reality facing most workers in the gig economy, their work is not a "gig" and they are left vulnerable, without access to minimum wage, or other basic worker protections.

Highlights from the study include:

  • At least 78% of the workforce are people of color, and 56% are immigrants, coming from dozens of different countries.
  • 45% of these workers, including 59% of food delivery workers, could not handle a $400 emergency expense (compared to 40% of all Americans).
  • Over one fifth do not have health insurance, and 27% would maybe or likely go to work if they woke up with a fever.
  • The majority of people work full-time for platform companies, with 71% working more than 30 hours a week, including 50% who work more than 40 hours and 30% who work more than 50 hours a week.

Gig Workers Rising Statement On Uber Mask Policy

Once again, this is an abdication of corporate responsibility in favor of superficial solutions. For months, Uber has fought tooth and nail against healthcare, paid sick leave, and meaningful protection for its workers during the pandemic. Drivers are still not getting full sick leave when they're sick, forced to jump through hoops to receive those benefits. They still get no paid family leave if they have to care for relatives who fall sick and get no unemployment in most states, because they're not considered full-time employees.

Uber is denying them these benefits by misclassifying them. A real solution would tackle this inequity, not hoist more responsibility onto drivers in an attempt to save Uber's profit-margin.