JUSTICE FOR APP WORKERS: ILLINOIS RIDESHARE AND DELIVERY WORKERS UNITE TO JOIN HISTORIC NATIONAL LABOR FIGHT AGAINST APP COMPANIES
Worker justice movement that started in New York goes nationwide, now with 120,000 app workers taking on Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub from the East Coast to the Midwest
Seven grassroots organizations form new Justice For App Workers Illinois coalition demanding safer working conditions, better pay, and union rights
Chicago, IL – “Chicago app workers are literally fighting for our lives – and now that we’re standing together, we will win!” said Manny Leyva, full-time Uber driver and member of SOS Uber y Lyft, one of seven Illinois worker advocacy organizations that have joined ranks to become part of the largest national labor coalition taking on the gig economy.
Today, at the first annual Chicago GigFest, Manny gathered with Illinois rideshare drivers and delivery workers for a rare day of rest and celebration with their families. There, they announced that seven local worker advocacy groups representing 20,000 drivers and delivery workers are launching a new fight against Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, and other big tech giants as the first Midwest expansion of the historic Justice for App Workers campaign that started in New York earlier this year.
As app workers in Chicago continue to face an alarming rate of carjackings and violent assaults, high gas prices and inflation that leaves them struggling to pay their bills, and lack of basic access to sanitary bathrooms, the groups have formed a united front to demand better pay, safer working conditions, and the right to form a union. The Justice for App Workers Illinois coalition currently consists of Road Warriors Chicago, Illinois Independent Drivers Guild, Latinos Unidos Uber/Lyft, SOS Uber y Lyft, Rideshare Revolutionaries, Chicago Uber and Lyft Drivers, and Chicago Stolen Car Directory, and is rapidly organizing.
The Justice for App Workers campaign kicked off just six months ago in New York with nine founding coalition group members that vowed to win rights for app-based workers across the country. Members from the East Coast to the Midwest are fighting to ensure the app companies and lawmakers meet six core demands that the workers say are foundational to achieving dignity on the job for app-based workers: 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.
At the Illinois coalition kick off today, delivery workers stood side-by-side with rideshare drivers as they railed against billionaire Big Tech bosses in Silicon Valley, and called on all workers across the industry to mobilize together and join the fight.
“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.”
Rideshare drivers and delivery workers are among the least protected workforces in the country, carved out of regulations that cover other workers that would allow them to negotiate over their wages, benefits, and working conditions. According to polling of drivers and delivery workers in the tristate area conducted by Justice for App Workers in 2021, 77% of app worker respondents said they struggle to make monthly payments like rent, utilities, car payments, and other bills. 82% would fall behind on bills within three months if they couldn’t drive or deliver.
Justice for App Workers is a coalition movement representing more than 120,000 rideshare drivers and delivery workers, united in their demands to transform their industry. This means living wages, a safe working environment, an end to unfair deactivation, quality healthcare benefits, reliable bathroom access, and the right to form a union. Together, drivers and delivery workers are taking on the multi-billion dollar app industry to win dignity at work. Learn more and join the movement at JusticeForAppWorkers.org.
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