Weekly Round-Up: People Unhappy with NYC $18 Minimum Wage for Delivery Drivers

Recently, NYC passed a bill to require delivery platforms like DoorDash and Uber Eats to pay a minimum wage to their delivery drivers, and apparently “nobody” is happy with it. Also this edition of our weekly round-up, we learned that Uber is bringing video ads to their apps and Lyft is supposedly improving earnings for their drivers.

Let’s take a look.

Nobody Is Happy With NYC’s $18 Delivery Worker Minimum Wage


New York City has established a new minimum wage for food delivery workers who deliver for platforms like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Relay. It should be a historic win for gig workers, but both delivery workers and companies are unhappy with it.

Many workers, labor rights activists, and even the city’s comptroller say the minimum pay – just under $18 per hour – is not nearly enough to cover the costs of living in NYC or the costs of being a delivery driver. App-based gig companies say the ruling will cause unintended consequences for workers, and a spokesperson for DoorDash told TechCrunch that “litigation isn’t off the table.”

Of course, there are those who say that perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of good, and plenty of delivery workers are in support of the ruling. NYC’s delivery workers currently make about $7.09 an hour on average, according to a release from the city, so the new ruling is certainly a step up. But it’s clear that this contentious issue will further divide the two camps….

no one is happy with NYC's $18 delivery minimum wage

My Take

Make sure to read the entire article to see RSG senior contributor Sergio Avedian’s opinion on these changes.

Basically, one issue is that $18 is not enough, but another is that the platforms are using this change as an excuse for possibly making gig work much harder for the delivery drivers.

According to Avedian:

“Uber is saying, ‘Now, we’re gonna force these people to run their asses off” despite the fact that drivers in NYC are already doing that in order to make ends meet.

We’ve seen before when the platforms get a blow based on a bill or piece of legislation, they fight back with a vengeance. The biggest fightback was when California passed AB-5. The platforms returned fire with Prop-22.

Massachusetts set out to give drivers more rights, and Uber responded with a similar proposal to Prop-22.

Video Ads Are Coming To All Your Uber Apps


Uber users will soon encounter full-length video ads for the first time across the company’s ride-hailing app, food delivery service Uber Eats and alcohol sales platform Drizly.

Video ads will run on the primary Uber app while users wait for their drivers to arrive and during their trips, said Mark Grether, vice president and general manager of Uber Technologies’ advertising division. They will also appear on tablets installed inside certain Uber cars.

The Uber Eats app will play video ads after customers place orders and continue until their deliveries arrive; Drizly will run them in search results on its app and website as well as other areas of the site….

My Take

As a customer, this would drive me nuts. If I’m on the Uber app while I’m on my ride, it’s because I’m watching the route the driver is taking, if I’m in an unfamiliar place, to make sure they don’t try to pull anything on me.

I don’t want to have to worry about video ads popping up while I’m trying to focus on my own safety.

While waiting for their drivers is, ok, I guess, though again, I’m paying attention to how far away the driver is so I can be outside and ready for them when they arrive.

Everything has ads, and video ads are the most intrusive. Personally, I just feel inundated with ads everywhere I look anyway. Adding them to something else is just exhausting.

Uber Driver Berry Henson Set For First Major Appearance After Qualifying For US Open


In various households across the Palm Springs area this week, some Californians will have seen the face of a previous Uber driver staring back at them on sports broadcasts and online articles.

While many of the passengers Berry Henson has taxied during some 3,000 rides knew he played golf, few were aware of just how good he is. On Thursday, their 4.99-rated driver will tee off at Los Angeles Country Club for the US Open.

The 43-year-old’s world has turned upside down since he stamped his ticket to the 123rd edition of the tournament with a dominant performance across 36 holes in final stage qualifying at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey on July 5….

berry henson uber driver turned golf pro
Berry Henson, Image Source Golf365.com

My Take

RSG will be interviewing Berry Henson on its podcast soon! Be sure to check here for when the episode drops.

Always great to see a driver succeed in their chosen field! And, honestly, after 3,000 rides to have a 4.99 rating is amazing!

Learn more about this golfer/driver on CNN’s Twitter account video.

Earning With Lyft Just Got Better


Whether offering greater transparency with upfront pay, or simplicity and ease with better maps, Lyft’s recent driver app improvements have focused on enhancing the underlying experience so that the best drivers continue to choose Lyft.

Today, our Driver Earnings Release is stacked with some of drivers’ top-requested features and improvements, including upgrades to upfront pay. Combined with our reputation for having the best riders, this new-and-improved driver experience demonstrates our commitment to ensuring Lyft is the best place to earn good money with great people….

My Take

We’ve all seen changes come through these apps in the past and anytime they say drivers are going to pocket more money, we take it with a grain of salt.

It usually means that on some rides you’ll start earning more than you used to, but other rides will earn you even less than before. It’s all a numbers game and overall, your earnings probably won’t improve as much as the platform claims they will.

Maybe it’s different this time though? Only time will tell.

I have mentioned that with the way Lyft is going, they should start focusing more on treating their drivers better than their competitors do. Maybe they are actually taking that to heart this time around and actually improving things for drivers.

If drivers do start seeing a significant improvement in their pay with Lyft over Uber, they’ll be more likely to switch loyalties to the one that is giving them what they want. And one thing all drivers want is better pay.

Read Senior RSG Contributor, Jay Cradeur’s take on the Lyft updates.