The Assault on Delivery Driver Pay - Drivers Union

The Assault on Delivery Driver Pay


Delivery drivers with signs advocating at Seattle City Hall.

Earlier this year, delivery drivers in Seattle won an important victory: PayUp, a fair pay standard ensuring at least minimum wage after expenses with tips on top, flexibility protections, and meaningful transparency. Much like the pay standard that UBER and LYFT drivers organized together through Drivers Union to win in Seattle and across Washington, PayUp ensured that delivery drivers for companies such as DoorDash, InstaCart, and GrubHub would no longer be forced to work for less than Seattle’s minimum wage.

The corporate backlash was fast and fierce; massive companies that collectively earn tens of billions in revenue each year immediately slapped junk fees onto their deliveries and launched a propaganda campaign to convince Seattleites that fair pay and delivery services can’t go together.

But it’s all a big lie.

The delivery companies claim these outlandish fees are necessary to comply with PayUp, but refuse to provide the internal cost numbers that would justify these claims. Instead, multiple reports indicate that companies are charging the same fees even outside of Seattle city limits, in suburbs and nearby areas where the minimum compensation standard doesn’t apply. This apparent contradiction points to the truth: outsized junk fees are a part of a corporate messaging campaign designed to erode support for fair pay for delivery workers.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to support our city's workers and pass PayUp. Now, they're allowing delivery app companies to present “solutions” to a problem that they created with junk fees intended to punish Seattlites and build pressure to roll back worker rights and pay protections. And instead of taking meaningful driver input, the Council has allowed Drive Forward, an UBER founded and funded trade association, to act as a fake representative of delivery drivers while promoting policies to cut their pay. 

Drivers Union, the voice of UBER and LYFT drivers in the Pacific Northwest, does not represent delivery drivers. But we do stand in solidarity with all workers to oppose this calculated attempt to bully Seattle into turning the clock back on pay for Washington workers. 

Danielle Alvarado, Executive Director of Working Washington, the organizing force behind PayUp laments that "Seattle City Council now wants to repeal these hard-won labor protections just three months after implementation because the corporations have loudly retaliated with huge fees. Repealing the gig worker minimum wage law is a solution for no one but the companies, and does nothing to protect us all from continued corporate price-gouging. We need city hall to hear that, and we need our city to join us in defending these important standards."

Drivers deserve better, workers deserve better, Seattle deserves better.

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