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As of Monday, more than 65,000 “deliveristas” or application distributors have new labor rights in New York, the first city in the United States to regulate the work of this group that proved essential during the pandemic.

A total of six laws that favor delivery workers such as a minimum wage, currently $15 an hour in the state, transparency about the tips left by customers, having official permits to operate, using the bathroom of the restaurants where they pick up the food or that the companies provide them with the delivery bags.

“It is a very powerful moment for our workers and for the “deliveristas” in the city,” the congresswoman told AFP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, present at an event on Sunday to celebrate the entry into force of this set of rights approved in September by the New York City Council.

New York, she said, “is an example that we can change the laws of workers” which offers “more chances to make changes at the national level,” added the congresswoman, located on the left wing of the Democratic Party and deputy for the Bronx .

The new delivery rights will be implemented in three phases. In the first, the applications will have to notify them of the amount of tips left by customers for each delivery, essential in a country where they constitute an essential part of the salary of workers in a large part of the service sector.

In addition, they will be able to use the bathrooms of the restaurants where they pick up the food, which until now used to be closed to them, and they will have to be registered with the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

Starting April 22, apps will have to tell you route details before accepting a job.

Nor will they be able to charge them a commission for paying the fees and they will have to provide them with an insulating bag, which is now the responsibility of the workers.

Starting in 2023, drivers will receive the minimum payment stipulated by the city.

During the pandemic, which hit New York hard, this union continued to work, becoming essential workers.

“Without the delivery workers, the restaurants would not have survived,” Guatemalan Gustavo Ajché, one of the promoters of Los Deliveristas Unidos, the movement behind these labor achievements, tells AFP.

But not only restaurants. The platforms or applications are “dramatically changing”, since now you can carry “food from the supermarket, clothes, phones, everything”.

According to a report prepared last year by Los Deliveristas/Workers Justice Project, app workers toiled every day during the pandemic lockdown, while receiving “inhumane treatment.”

Delivery drivers continue to be victims of abuse, tip theft, refusal to use restrooms, unjustified deactivation of app accounts, accidents and violent robberies, the report concluded.

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