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Food Policy Technology

Delivery Companies Threatened Fee Increases If Prop 22 Failed, They Happened Anyway

Photo: Robert Anasch // Unsplash

This past election season, delivery companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates campaigned hard for Proposition 22 to pass in California. The new labor standard law ended up becoming law, creating a new class of “gig worker” in California that gets new driver benefits, but loses out on a lot of other worker rights, including sick leave, discrimination protections, and collective bargaining rights.

Throughout the campaigning, the companies threatened fee increases if the proposition didn’t pass. That ended up happening anyway, with DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub all enacting fee increases by the end of 2020. Postmates just followed suit this past week, adding as much as $2.50 to each order.

As for the delivery drivers, the benefits they began to receive haven’t been up to par with what they hoped. According to reports from the progressive investigative journalist magazine The American Prospect, even max-hour drivers only qualify for $400 in monthly health insurance benefits, 40% of the premium for the lowest level of coverage from the Affordable Care Act.

On top of that, other companies, such as grocery stores, have begun to lay off employees to hire delivery drivers contracted through a third party instead.

It really seems that California citizens took a hard “L” on this legislation. Delivery companies got to make a new class of worker with less protections, charge money for that new class, and get their customers to pay for it, increasing their profits while seeing a boost in sales due to COVID-19.

The alternative, of course, is to go through other apps or just order directly from the restaurants. It’s the best way to support local restaurants as the pandemic rages on without undercutting the profits these small businesses might be making.

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.