On Sunday, at the first annual Chicago GigFest, Illinois rideshare drivers and delivery workers gathered for a rare day of rest and celebration with our families. There, we announced that Justice for App Workers is now a NATIONAL movement with 20,000 Illinois app workers joining the fight against Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, and other big tech giants. This is the first Midwest expansion of our historic Justice for App Workers campaign that started in New York earlier this year.
Every day, rideshare and delivery drivers in Chicago face threats to our safety, amid an alarming increase in carjackings and violent assaults. App companies must ensure that we go home safely to our families, that we make enough to put food on the table, and that we have access to the most basic of necessities, such as sanitary bathrooms.
“The violence app drivers are experiencing is terrifying. We risk our lives every day – then, after the app companies take their cut and we shell out for gas, we have nothing to show for our work at the end of the day,” said Mattia Nanfria, leader of Road Warriors Chicago and a full-time Uber driver. “Uber, Lyft, and all the Big Tech companies don’t think we can come together, but they’re underestimating us. Now that we’re united, we’re ready to change this industry for good.”
Our coalition has rapidly expanded since its creation in February, and we are now 120,000 members strong! From the East Coast to the Midwest, we’re demanding living wages, a safe working environment, an end to unfair account deactivation, quality healthcare and mental healthcare benefits, reliable bathroom access, and the right to form a union.
Chicago GigFest was a great reminder of what we are fighting for; as we looked out at all the app workers celebrating, spending well-earned time with their families, uniting to take on billion-dollar tech companies, we saw how we deserve to be celebrated, and how strong we are when we come together.
One thing is clear after Sunday’s GigFest: we are more than ready to fight for what we deserve!