The cost of living is growing across the world, and many employees are asking for pay rises or looking at new roles as they deal with this situation. However, not every role lends itself to a pay rise request, and certain gig workers are feeling the brunt of increasing prices.
Naturally, this greater cost for fuel is damaging the profits of employees who rely on gas to do their delivery jobs. This issue poses questions about the sustainability of delivery gig work and as a result, businesses have begun to alter their models.
Uber and DoorDash take action
Uber and DoorDash have put in programs to assist staff amid the rising cost of fuel.
On 16 March, Uber introduced “a surcharge of either $0.45 or $0.55 on each Uber trip and either $0.35 or $0.45 on each Uber Eats order, depending on their location—with 100% of that money going directly to workers’ pockets”.
Additionally, Uber encouraged drivers to make greater profits by using electric vehicles as part of its Green Future Program. For drivers using electric vehicles, Uber offers $1 more per trip up to $4,000 annually.
Similarly, DoorDash launched its Gas Rewards program in March.
In a blog post, DoorDash explained that the scheme meant that “all US Dashers are eligible for 10% cash back on gas.”
Additionally, “Dashers who accept and complete orders totaling 100 miles in a motor vehicle will earn an extra $5” and this figure would go up incrementally as miles covered increased.
What this means for workers
Between January and June, wages for Uber drivers in the US rose by 18% on average according to Insider. Furthermore, Gridwise, a platform for gig workers to monitor their earnings, found that drivers went from $20.72 in January to $25.29 in May.
Naturally, many will see these increased wages as progress, but some drivers are still concerned about their income.
Adrian Schabbing, an Uber delivery and ride share driver from Arizona, told Insider: “Gas prices here have gone up like 40 cents in the last two weeks. And obviously, that adds up.”
Another Uber driver, Denise Smith, commented: “My profit has gone down drastically.”
Although Uber has referenced its growing average wage, a message to drivers stated: “We heard you on the need for further change. This week, we’ll be replacing the fuel surcharge with increased rates in Phoenix.”
Time will tell whether delivery service platforms can continue to adapt to the changes in the cost of living. At the moment, it’s evident that all kinds of workers are finding rising costs a challenge.
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