DoorDash workers protest outside CEO Tony Xu’s home demanding better wages, tip transparency and PPE – TechCrunch

California DoorDash workers protested outside the home of DoorDash CEO Tony Xu on Thursday, prompted by a recent ruling by a California Superior Court judge calling Proposition 22 of 2020 unconstitutional. Proposition 22, which passed last November in California, would allow app-based companies like DoorDash, Uber and Lyft to continue to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

A group of about 50 DoorDash workers who are affiliated with advocacy groups We Drive Progress and Gig Workers Rising traveled in a caravan in front of Xu’s home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. They demanded that DoorDash provide transparency for tips and 120% of the minimum wage or around $ 17 per hour, Stop unfair deactivations and provide free personal protective equipment as well as adequate payment for disinfection of the car and equipment.

“Dasher’s concerns and comments are always important to us, and we will continue to hear their voices and engage our community directly,” a DoorDash spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Yet we know that today’s participants are not speaking for the 91% of California Dashers who want to remain independent contractors or the millions of California voters who overwhelmingly supported Proposition 22. The reality is that the passage of Proposition 22 has addressed many in law One of the concerns raised today through its historic benefits and protections: Workers earn 120% of their local minimum wage per active hour in addition to 100% of their tips, receive free PPE, and enjoy access to health care funds “.

DoorDash drivers say they get paid for the time they are “active”, meaning Actively driving to pick up and drop off food, rather than when they’re in line and waiting for concerts to arrive, leads to inadequate pay. They also say that much of their living wage comes from tips, which should be an added bonus, but they end up helping to make ends meet based on DoorDash’s salary structure. Proposition 22 is also meant to guarantee a refund of 30 cents per committed mile, which drivers say “would be great if it were true.” DoorDash did not respond to follow-ups regarding their pay structure or writers’ claims that they have not been provided free PPE.

Rondu Gantt, a worker who has been working for DoorDash for two and a half years and also drives for Uber and Lyft to figure it out, says his base DoorDash wage is often as low as $ 3 an hour, and that around the 40% to 60% of your money comes from tips. Although this model sounds similar to the restaurant industry in the United States, which can be quite lucrative for waiters and waiters, for a delivery driver, it is an unsustainable way to make a living because the culture of tips is not so strong.

“DoorDash pays so low because they want it to be affordable for the customer, but I would say for the driver it becomes unaffordable,” Gantt told TechCrunch, citing the costs of owning, maintaining, parking and fueling a vehicle as potentially crippling. “Last week, I drove for 30 hours and made $ 405. That’s $ 13.50 an hour, which is below the minimum wage.”

Gantt said drivers have also had to deal with the pressure of driving in unsafe conditions, and we can look at the pictures of delivery drivers in New York City during Hurricane Ida as an example of some conditions that drivers feel compelled to accept. In the last two years, DoorDash drivers have also been considered essential workers, interacting and providing services to many people during a pandemic at the risk of their health.

Gig Workers Rising says DoorDash workers “have received little to no safety support” and some workers report that they are “reimbursed as little as 80 cents a day for the cleaning / sanitizing equipment and PPE they use to stay safe. themselves and their customers safe. “

“Right now, live work is not flexible,” a Gig Workers Rising spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Workers are at the mercy of when there is demand. If they were employees, the job would change as they would work knowing they have medical care and can take a day off due to illness. “

Because Proposition 22 was declared unconstitutional, the spokesperson said that by right it should not be in operation.

“Concert corporations violate that law every day by choosing not to abide by it,” he said.

On Gantt’s part, you don’t necessarily want to be an employee, you just want to make sure you get paid what you deserve.

“Which is not a minimal challenge,” he said. “The minimal challenge would also be unacceptable. The cost of doing this, the danger, makes the minimum wage unacceptable. And realistically, only sometimes you get paid pre-tax minimum wage. After taxes, you are definitely making less. “

TechCrunch had access to DoorDash worker dashboards that break down their salary. During the week of July 12 through July 19, a broker was paid a total of $ 574.21 for 53 deliveries, $ 274 of which came from the customer’s tip. His “active time” was 14 hours and 21 minutes, and his “race time”, or when he was logged into the app waiting for concerts to arrive and making deliveries, was approximately 30 hours.

The DoorDash dasher’s “guaranteed earnings” for the week were $ 300.21. (DoorDash did not respond to clarification on how guaranteed weekly earnings are calculated or what they are based on, but a mail on the company’s site it says that guaranteed earnings are incentives for brokers in specific areas). His base salary ended at around $ 257.62, but DoorDash added an additional $ 42.59 to match guaranteed earnings. If we divide the amount DoorDash paid by the number of “uptime” hours, the worker was paid about $ 21 per hour. If we divide it by the “script time” it seems more like $ 10 per hour.

Again, this is before taxes. Independent contractors are generally advised to set aside about 30% of their pay because they have to pay self-employment tax, which is 15.3% of taxable income, the federal income tax. , which varies according to the tax level. and potentially the state income tax. After taxes, this heartthrob’s total salary for 30 hours of work, including his $ 274 tip, would be around $ 402, which equates to $ 13.40 per hour.

The tracks were of concern at Thursday’s protest, as drivers called for transparency. Gantt says that brokers can see a cumulative amount of tip earnings per week, as well as the amount of tip they receive from each order, but they don’t trust that the amount they receive is actually the amount that customers give them.

Gantt and other drivers aren’t just being paranoid. Last November, DoorDash agreed to pay $ 2.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company stole tips from drivers and allowed customers to think that tip money was actually going to drivers. The lawsuit, filed by Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, alleges that DoorDash reduced drivers’ wages for each job by the amount of any tip.

One of the shouts of the protest was that Xu “share the wealth.” In 2020, the CEO was reportedly highest paid CEO In the Bay Area, with a total income of $ 413.67 million, which includes salary and stock options. During the second quarter, DoorDash saw a $ 113 million in profit adjusted for EBITDA, but overall it was not profitable with a net loss of $ 102 million.

“We all work for money and the way that money is distributed when they pass through your earnings tells you who matters and who does not matter,” Gantt said. “It is a clear sign of who is important, who has value. If they don’t pay you, they don’t value you. “

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