WEDNESDAY: Gig workers speak out about their jobs and their lives at the leading edge of our changing economy

People who work for Instacart, Amazon Flex, DoorDash & other platforms to speak out about their work & their lives — and call for change

RSVP to attend Working Washington Gig Worker Speak-Out Wednesday 7/18, online or IRL

There’s plenty of talk about gig economy apps like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and Doordash from economists, tech executives, politicians, and other Important Thinkers — but the people who do the work haven’t really been heard from themselves. That changes Wednesday at our Gig Workers Speak-Out, when workers on the front lines will share the good, the bad, and the ugly about their work, their lives, and their future at the leading edge of our changing economy.

As state & federal lawmakers explore portable benefits and other approaches to ensure gig workers have the basic rights & benefits every worker needs, this speak-out is a unique opportunity to hear from the workers who are living through it.

Who: Gig economy workers organizing with Working Washington, including people who work for Instacart, Amazon Flex, DoorDash, and other platforms.

What: Speak out about their experiences working in the gig economy & call for change

When: 12:00pm, Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Where: Limited space available in person at 719 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA; unlimited space available at online livestream.

--> RSVP here for details and to reserve a space in person or online<--

 

Speakers:

The speak-out is set to include the following workers (and others):

Chris, DoorDash: Chris has spent the last five years working on and off in the gig economy, most recently with DoorDash. Earlier this year, he was facing such low pay from DoorDash that he ended up being kicked out of his home because he was unable to make rent and lived in his car for several months — all while continuing to deliver food for DoorDash for 60+ hours a week.

Mia, Instacart: Mia shops for Instacart on the side of running her own business as a private pastry chef. She says she loves the job because she’s a big fan of grocery shopping, and because the flexibility allows her to work for herself rather than for someone else’s dream. A few months ago, she injured her back while on an Instacart delivery. She was unable to work for a week, and couldn’t access workers’ comp because she’s an independent contractor.

Wafiullah, Lyft: Wafiullah, his brother and roommates are all app-based drivers, and he really appreciates the flexibility and opportunity that app-based work provides for workers, especially those who are new to the US. But he also wants to see the app provide benefits like health insurance and retirement, and he wants to see apps committing to compensating workers for all the time they spend driving.

Corwin, Shipt & Instacart: Corwin’s main gig is delivering groceries with Instacart and Shipt. He loves the freedom of app-based work, but also has direct experience of how people doing this work can fall between the cracks because the jobs lack basic rights & benefits. He was injured on the job, but because he was classified as a contractor, he didn't get workers comp, so he was left with zero income.

Roy, Amazon Flex: Roy does gig work for Amazon Flex on the side of his full-time job in tech, because it provides him with some needed extra income to pay his mortgage and other expenses in high-cost Seattle. He wants to see gig workers making a living wage, and earning benefits that can make them more financially secure — no matter whether or not it's their main source of income.

Kimberly, Lyft & Caviar: Kimberly has been a full-time Lyft driver for more than three years, and has also worked for Caviar and other apps. She was rear-ended while driving, leaving her car out of commission, and leaving her out of a paycheck, for over a month. She wants to see gig workers being given access to things like PTO and unemployment to hold them over when they’re unable to work.

Karla, Center for American Progress: Karla is director of the American Worker Project at American Progress, where she focuses primarily on improving the economic security of American workers by increasing workers’ wages and benefits, promoting workplace protections, and advancing workers’ rights at work. Karla is a frequent commenter on conditions faced by workers in the gig economy and writes on how policymakers can raise standards for these workers.

 

More information:

Several initiatives have recently been advanced to address some of the key issues facing gig workers:

###

Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: sage@workingwa.org

Working Washington is the voice for workers in our state. Working Washington fast food strikers sparked the fight that won Seattle’s first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage. Working Washington baristas and fast food workers led the successful campaign for secure scheduling in Seattle, and our members across the state helped drive forward Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick days. We successfully drove Amazon to sever ties with the right-wing lobby group ALEC and improve conditions in their sweatshop warehouses, and got Starbucks to address inequities in their corporate parental leave policy. And we made history once again with the landmark statewide paid family leave law passed last year. For more information, including our press kit, visit workingWA.org.

 

The case for Amazon to be prosecuted for Class B felony of intimidating a public servant (RCW 9A.76.180)

Amazon has a clear interest in using this type of threat to intimidate both the current and future locations of its corporate offices to extract additional funds and other economic concessions from them. This is the well-known criminal logic of a mob boss. The clumsy nature of Amazon’s attempted power play may make it less politically effective, but it does not make it less criminal.

Read More

“You need to treat them like they’re a human being”: 2 new research reports indicate how workers — and businesses — can benefit from secure scheduling

Together, two new reports out this week — the Seattle scheduling “baseline” report and the Gap "stable scheduling" study — show the extent of scheduling issues workers face, and the potential for policy change to have a positive impact on workers, their families, their communities... and the businesses where they work. As one manager is quoted: “If you want to have a well functioning team... you need to treat them like they’re a human being.”
 

Read More

Towards a different kind of “Home Equity”: Seattle domestic workers issue new report after building diaper/glove display, sharing their stories, and calling for change at City Hall

Nannies and house cleaners bring their campaign to center stage at City Hall today

Release “Home Equity” research report after assembling  diaper/glove display, and speaking before City Council committee on need for Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

IMG_0066.JPG

Nannies, house cleaners, and other Seattle domestic workers took a major step from invisible to powerful today, bringing a different kind of “Home Equity” to the top of Seattle’s political agenda today. First, workers assembled a large-scale display of diapers and gloves at City Hall, representing each of the housecleaners and nannies in the Seattle area — one diaper for each nanny in the Seattle area (about 8,000), one glove-finger for each house cleaner (about 7,000).

Photos of the event are available here.Photos of the event are available here.

Now the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance is issuing a new report: “Home Equity: Inequality and Exclusions Facing Domestic Workers in Seattle, which analyzes community-based survey data and other research detailing the conditions faced by domestic workers in Seattle, and recommends a path forward for change.

Key findings of the Home Equity report include:

IMG_0038.PNG
  • There are approximately 8,000 people who work as nannies and 7,000 who work as house cleaners in Seattle. However, data is sparse, the work is all-too-often invisible, and there is great need for additional community-based research.
  • Half of the domestic workers surveyed do not receive overtime pay, four in ten do not receive paid sick days, and 85% do not receive workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured at work.
  • More than one in three surveyed workers are paid in cash, and less than half have a written contract. Almost nine in ten surveyed domestic workers of color do not have written contracts.
  • Sixteen percent of surveyed workers who raised concerns about working conditions report facing retaliation from their employers.

The full report can be downloaded here (PDF).

Nannies, house cleaners, and other domestic workers in Seattle are coming together to make sure they get the same basic rights and benefits every worker needs. That includes the city establishing a structure that allows workers and employers to come together to set standards that support workers’ health and well-being.

###

Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: sage@workingwa.org

Working Washington is the voice for workers in our state. Working Washington fast food strikers sparked the fight that won Seattle’s first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage. Working Washington baristas and fast food workers led the successful campaign for secure scheduling in Seattle, and our members across the state helped drive forward Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick days. We successfully drove Amazon to sever ties with the right-wing lobby group ALEC and improve conditions in their sweatshop warehouses, and got Starbucks to address inequities in their corporate parental leave policy. And we made history once again with the landmark statewide paid family leave law passed last year. For more information, including our press kit, visit workingWA.org.

Nannies & house cleaners to bring thousands of diapers and gloves to Seattle City Hall

Nannies & house cleaners with the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance will assemble a large-scale display of thousands of diapers and gloves Thursday morning outside Seattle City Hall, each representing one of the thousands of domestic workers in the Seattle area. Then they’ll attend a meeting of the City Council's Housing, Health, Energy & Workers' Rights committee to share their experiences and call for change through a citywide Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

Read More