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Food Delivery Gig Workers Earned Less Than Minimum Wage in NYC, Survey Says

Plus, a local politician says wearing masks indoors should be mandated again — and more intel

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A delivery worker in a pink sweatshirt and a blue mask is about to get on a bike holding an orange delivery bag with the word caviar on it
Many gig workers have been earning below minimum wage, according to a new survey
Gary He/Eater

Gig workers during the pandemic earned well below minimum wage, survey says

Essential workers during the pandemic — many who are gig workers that drove Uber or Lyft and delivered food for different food delivery apps — earned well below the $15 per hour minimum wage in NYC, according to a recent survey, the New York Times reports.

Many of the 500 workers surveyed by Maria C. Figueroa, the director of labor and policy research at the ILR School at Cornell University, were immigrants (many undocumented) and turned to gig economy jobs after losing work in restaurants, stores, and construction projects. While the survey did not take tips into account, Figueroa told the Times that after factoring in the expenses of smartphones, electric bikes, and other equipment, workers earned between $6.57 and $7.87 per hour this spring.

Throughout the pandemic, gig workers — which the anti-poverty group Community Service Society of New York reports made up about one-fifth of all employed New Yorkers, according to the Times — have voiced ongoing concerns about putting their health and safety at risk. Many have protested as well for better work conditions and pushed for legislative change, such as allowing food delivery workers to use restrooms at open restaurants.

In other news

— A spike in coronavirus cases has prompted City Council member Mark Levine, chairman of the organization’s health committee, to tell the Post that he plans to ask the State to mandate indoor mask-wearing again.

— The New York Times profiles restaurateur Keith McNally in the wake of his popular restaurants reopening during the pandemic, a health scare a few years ago, and his controversial Instagram rants.

— A grocery store is replacing the much loved-hated Kmart in the East Village, the Real Deal reports.

— Seamless, the national food delivery company with a large NYC presence, will be no more as its new owner Just Eat Takeaway.com plans to fold it into Grubhub, which has owned the brand since 2013.

— The historic Manhattan ferry terminal in the Financial District, at 10 South Street, is set to open in August as Casa Cipriani, a private club and hotel by a hospitality group that operates a handful of Italian restaurants.

— Marc Forgione’s eponymous restaurant in Tribeca, currently located at Reade and Hudson streets, will soon close and move into the old Brushstroke space at 30 Hudson Street, the Tribeca Citizen notes.

— East Village Italian favorite Via Della Pace, which shuttered because of a fire last year, looks to be opening in a new location a few blocks away.

— Citi Field is reportedly having a difficult time finding employees to run its food-and-drink concessions, according to the Post. Aramark, which hires the vendors, has been shuttling workers from a rival of the Mets nearly three hours away: the Philadelphia Phillies.

— Note to self: Don’t forget to slather on SPF.

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