Gig economy companies from Uber to Lyft take action as coronavirus cases grow; workers say it’s not enough
PUBLISHED MON, MAR 9 20204:11 PM EDT
J.R. Reed@JRREED, Deirdre Bosa@DEE_BOSA
While the title of the article at CNBC includes Uber and Lyft, it deals with the influence of the Coronavirus on all types of transportation and delivery businesses. Key points include:
- Uber and Lyft are planning to compensate drivers for up to 14 days for the effects of Coronavirus on their businesses.
- Multiple large delivery services are instituting special instructions and procedures to minimize physical contact while maintaining delivery volume.
- Though businesses are reacting, some employees fear they’re not doing enough.
No-contact food delivery is the first step from Instacart Postmates, while Doordash is allowing customers to leave instructions as to how they want their deliveries made.
Amazon Flex uses independent contractors for their delivery service but hasn’t instituted a specific policy, though they are dealing with contractors on a case-by-case basis.
The article interviews Uber and Lyft drivers and other delivery persons to get their take on the situation. Some say that they’ve heard of actions but haven’t seen them in effect yet. Others say they won’t get help unless they’re diagnosed with the virus, and they don’t have the money or insurance coverage to go to a doctor for a diagnosis.
Shortages and out-of-inventory situations are affecting many businesses, and deliveries are showing up short of items or with reduced quantities. A study of drivers indicated that 53% were concerned about reduced work due to the Coronavirus. The group Gig Workers Rising has been circulating a petition asking that the large gig companies give workers paid sick leave due to the virus.