DoorDash joins the instant delivery game-with employees

DoorDash said on Monday It did something different in New York City: It hired about 60 delivery people as employees instead of independent contractors. The courier will ride an electric bike to the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, and it will be delivered quickly in 10 to 15 minutes. This service marks DoorDash’s first foray into a new category of delivery enabled by “instant” applications.Few competing companies, including startups backed by Europe Gorilla, Buyk and Jokr have been operating in New York since the end of summer, and Also hired a courier as an employee to complete their fast delivery.

Like other “gig economy” companies that emerged in the 2010s, DoorDash usually relies on a large number of gig workers to deliver goods. Drivers or cyclists can log in to the app to work when they want, and sign when they want. DoorDash says this flexibility is attractive to most couriers. According to Max Rettig, the company’s vice president of global policy, 90% of the “Dashers” work less than 10 hours a week. But they rarely get traditional employment protection: eligibility for health insurance, workers’ compensation, paid vacation or unemployment benefits. Odd workers must also purchase and maintain their own equipment, including cars, bicycles, and special bags to keep food warm. Generally, they will not get paid for the time they wait for new orders to enter on the app.

When the company started operating a “dark convenience store” in Manhattan on Monday morning, the situation of a small number of DoorDash employees changed. Only DoorDash warehouse workers-also employees-and couriers are allowed to enter the “DashMart” convenience store, which is one of approximately 25 convenience stores nationwide. Through the use of employees, DoorDash hopes to ensure that someone is present to deliver each inbound order within the guaranteed 10 to 15 minutes.

The result will be “two-tier [delivery] Workers work side by side on the street,” said Hildalyn Colón, policy director at Los Deliveristas Unidos. group This represents 4,000 immigrants mainly from Central America and Mexico who provide app-based services in New York City. “Why do you treat them differently?”

Gustavo Ajche, a delivery cyclist at GrubHub and DoorDash and head of Los Deliveristas Unidos, said that even couriers do not have enough protection to ensure that they stay safe at work. He said that instant delivery companies “are pushing workers to speed up and deliver something in 15 minutes.” “It’s dangerous and unsafe for workers.” According to Los Deliveristas Unidos, 12 delivery men died on the roads of New York City in 2021. Last year, 24 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in New York and more than 5,000 were injured.

DoorDash’s Rettig said that the initial couriers worked an average of 25 hours a week. They will be eligible for benefits, but only for part-time work. These include commuter benefits, employee assistance programs that provide short-term consultation and evaluation, and free use of DashPass, a DoorDash membership program that can provide members with lower meal delivery costs. Full-time employees will also receive medical, dental and vision insurance, and can accumulate paid leave.

Couriers can earn $15 per hour plus tips, and get free electric bikes, helmets, jackets and other delivery equipment. Technically, they will be hired through a new DoorDash subsidiary called DashCorps.

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