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Backed By One of NYC’s Largest Unions, Food Delivery Workers Protest for Better Work Conditions

Plus, a Tex-Mex pop-up is bringing bean and cheese tacos to Williamsburg this weekend — and more intel

Demonstrators March For Food Delivery Workers Rights

Thousands of food delivery workers rally for improved work conditions

Los Deliveristas Unidos, a growing group of food delivery workers in New York City, is now working with the city’s largest union of service workers, representatives with SEIU Local 32BJ announced at a rally on Wednesday. The City first reported news of the partnership.

On Wednesday, a group of more than 2,000 food delivery workers biked from Times Square to Foley Square as part of a protest calling for improved work conditions. Their ongoing list of demands includes higher pay, increased bathroom access, and expansions to protected bike lanes. The workers also seek to be recognized as employees of the apps they work for since food delivery workers are technically classified as independent contractors, making them ineligible to join a traditional union. Local 32BJ is now backing those demands.

“We’re going to win together,” a union representative said at the rally, according to the City. Local 32BJ — NYC’s largest union of service workers and one of the groups responsible for passing the city’s historic $15 minimum wage increase in 2015 — has reportedly been working with Los Deliveristas Unidos for multiple months, providing organizers with legal assistance behind the scenes. That support is now public, which could prove crucial as food delivery workers continue to organize for higher pay and other job protections.

This isn’t the first protest from Los Deliveristas Unidos, an organization of mostly Guatemalan and Mexican food delivery workers that started during the pandemic, and it certainly won’t be the last. The group gathered in East Harlem last month, according to the City, after delivery worker Francisco Villalva Vitinio was shot and killed while working. Last fall, the group organized a series of bike protests, shutting down traffic in Manhattan to demand better treatment from tech companies and elected officials during the pandemic.

In other news

— Major Food Group opens a new location of Parm this week in the — *checks notes* — Woodbury Common shopping center in Central Valley, New York.

— French cafe and bakery chain Maman appears to be headed uptown with two new locations. The company announced plans to open on the Upper East Side in an Instagram post this week, while local blog I Love the Upper West Side speculates an outpost may be headed to that neighborhood, as well.

Crowd Braise launched an online membership club today called Chef Edit, where an annual $60 fee gets you a recipe each month from chefs like Wylie Dufresne and Dominique Ansel, plus access to special merch drops. Part of the proceeds go to World Central Kitchen, the Girl Scouts, and Stop AAPI Hate.

— Breakfast tacos filled with beans, cheese, and chorizo are on the menu at Egg Shop this weekend. Tex-Mex pop-up Salsa Pistolera will be operating out of the restaurant’s Williamsburg location from now through Sunday. Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

— Hungry Ghost continues to expand its footprint in Manhattan, Commercial Observer reports. The mostly Brooklyn-based coffee chain has signed a lease at 315 Bleecker Street in the West Village, set to open this spring.

— A Sichuan-Cajun seafood boil spot has opened in the former home of Cherry Point, Greenpoint’s beloved English bistro that closed last year due to the coronavirus shutdown.

— Night of Joy, one of our favorite rooftops for spending a night in Williamsburg (or an hour waiting for a table at Llama Inn across the street), is back open.

— Outdoor concerts are back on the menu at Industry City as part of a collaboration between the Sunset Park development and Hometown Bar-B-Que.

— Grub Street catches us up on some the most influential restaurants that opened during the first year of the pandemic.

— Eater critic Robert Sietsema isn’t the only one hunting for sandwiches this week: