Gee & Ursula: Delivery drivers ‘must do better’ in demand for minimum wage

The Seattle City Council last year passed a minimum wage law for rideshare drivers, the first in the nation. Now there’s pressure to do the same for app-based delivery drivers in Seattle.

Seattle eyes first-of-its-kind minimum wage for app-based delivery drivers

the law Project – officially known as “Pay Up” – would build on a bill passed by the council in 2020, which established a minimum wage of $16.39 an hour for rideshare drivers, paying 0, $56 per minute and $1.33 per mile traveled when carrying passengers. In practice, the new bill would set a minimum wage of $17.27 an hour for app-based delivery and service drivers for companies like DoorDash and Instacart, while helping cover basic expenses. .

Mikey Pullman is a DoorDash driver in Seattle and a volunteer with the Pay Up campaign.

“I ran DoorDash in Idaho for a little while, then moved here six months before the pandemic, got a census job, and then the pandemic hit,” Pullman explained. “My partner has heart disease, so I worked for DoorDash to try to avoid having to work in a restaurant and making everyone sick.”

“We made labor laws before gig work was so popular,” he noted of the reasoning behind the request. “So what we’re really trying to do is we’re just trying to restore the balance.”

He says that right now app drivers pay “all delivery charges”.

“We’re just trying to get people paid the minimum that we as a society have decided people need to be paid to be able to contribute to society,” he said.

Pullman also noted that he had to pay for gas and repairs to his car. He says he often gets job offers from DoorDash that are only $2 or $2.50.

“All we ask [employers] what you need to do is pay people… so they can shop and pay their rent,” he added. “It would actually benefit Seattle by pumping money back into the city.”

He said the drivers demanded the same minimum wage as Seattle, and that would account for all the hours the drivers worked.

“You get minimum wage while you work,” Pullman said. “I mean, I’ve had other delivery jobs – like being a pizza delivery driver, I was getting paid even though I was stuck in traffic. That’s the kind of stuff we let’s talk…. I still deserve to get paid; I still burn my gas.

“The idea that the worker has to pay for these things is like asking the guy who makes your pizza to pay for the toppings,” he added.

Hosts Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin spoke more about the interview later on the show. Gee was a DoorDash driver himself and is still unconvinced by Pullman’s argument.

“As someone who spends his days fighting for people to get better wages, spends his days talking about how I think the federal minimum wage is way too low and how I think the people work for [low] wages, this person still can’t convince me that a DoorDash employee should be earning minimum wage,” Gee said. “And I’m an employee of DoorDash.”

Gee also clarified that app-based delivery drivers can turn down a job if it doesn’t make enough money.

“Let’s just say I’ll only make $3.50 from this job, right? I can refuse that,” Gee said.

“So to say you’ll only make $2, well, that’s not true,” he noted in response to something Pullman mentioned in the interview. “Because if you don’t just want to make $2, you can always turn it down. So again, they’re going to have to do better because if you can’t convince me – and I’m someone who always fights for for people to make more money – it’s going to be a tough fight.

Listen to the full interview in the first hour of the Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show on February 14:

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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