SEATTLE - DoorDash is sharing data to shed light on the potential impact the "PayUp" proposal could have on communities in Seattle.
A suite of bills is currently being considered by Seattle city leaders to set minimum wage standards and protections for app-based workers. Proponents of the bill said there are about 40,000 workers who would be impacted.
DoorDash told FOX 13 while it strongly supports DoorDash workers earning more, the company believes if passed PayUp could lead to dramatically increased costs of delivery which could reduce orders. The company estimates Seattle businesses could lose over $74 million collectively a year and DoorDash workers could lose over $32 million in collective earnings due to an expected drop in orders.
"Our data shows that 48% of Dasher earnings are made by Seattle-based Dashers from low-income communities and 48% of Seattle-based Dasher earnings are made by Seattle-based Dashers from communities of color. We also know that 31% of DoorDash deliveries are made to low-income communities. All of this makes us concerned that increased costs could have a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities," said spokesperson Briana Megid of DoorDash.
In Seattle, workers using DoorDash earn an average of $28 an hour while on delivery with over 90% working less than ten hours a week, according to Megid, who said further, "We’re proud to offer a low-barrier-to-entry earning opportunity that empowers Dashers to work when, where, and how long they like."
Carl Livingston is a local pastor and a political science professor at Seattle Central College. He supports PayUp’s transparency and flexibility, and shares the concern for worker pay. His worry is a little increase in wages could have unintended impacts on small businesses.
"It’s going to negatively impact the consumer at the end that’s going to pay the total price for a sandwich, for a meal, for dinner, and I’m concerned about the impact this is going to have on small businesses, especially those small businesses in black and brown communities," said Livingston.
Marcos Wanless of the Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce said city leaders have not included them in conversations regarding the policy, he said they could bring in focus groups involving restaurants, companies, food trucks and more. DoorDash is one of its sponsors.
"When the price of something goes up, then somebody’s going to have to pay for that," said Wanless who is the President and Founder of the Seattle Latino Chamber. "The Latino worker is a hard worker, the people of color workers, we’re hard workers, we always have to do double the effort for things. So, we really want to make their workplace better. Then, we have to study how we’re going to do this. Otherwise, we can end up making things worse, and we don’t want that."
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Raymond Evans is a Seattle gig worker and strong supporter of PayUp. He said, "It’s much more equitable, fair, transparent, and it’s just. Just feels right. Seattle wants to be a leader then get this right. Do what’s right, make sure people have equal pay."
Evans said he’s currently working part-time with AxleHire and said he knows exactly what he’s going to be paid and can accept the job or not. He said in his experience, working on other apps have been more gray and ambiguous.
"You know what you get, you know what you’re going to get paid, you can plan on that, and you know at the end of the day, end of your shift, you’re going to get that amount of dollars," said Evans. "You can plan out your life to some degree, which is the basis of why we’re trying to get this legislation established."
"No worker in Seattle should be paid less than the minimum wage. Yet this is a reality for these workers, while app-based companies are achieving record profits," said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, bill sponsor. "Billion-dollar corporations are making the same arguments today as nearly 100 years ago when the minimum wage was first introduced – that it would hurt workers. Studies are useful. The City commissioned studies on the $15 minimum wage and Secure Scheduling for retail and chain restaurant workers. They found that the minimum wage increase did not affect prices and that Secure Scheduling did increase worker financial security. This bill has undergone nearly a year of engagement with stakeholders; we have more work to do, and we are continuing to meet with employers and workers."
PayUp will be discussed against on Tuesday during a hearing with the Seattle Human Services and Public Safety Committee.