Open Letter to DoorDash Customers: Support a Minimum Wage – Slog

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If you are a DoorDash customer, you might have seen a pop-up message urging you to contact City Council in opposition to PayUp – new legislation I’m cosponsoring to ensure app-based workers make at least the minimum wage.

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I’m a DoorDash customer, too, and I noticed that they told us that they will charge us more if they have to pay their workers a fair wage. But here’s what they didn’t tell you:

  • They didn’t tell you that their revenues were nearly $5 billion last year.
  • They didn’t tell you that in 2020, DoorDash’s CEO made $413.4 million. That’s as much money as 11,469 people working full time and paid minimum wage could make in an entire year.
  • They didn’t tell you that their company has one of the highest numbers of employees on food stamps in all of Washington.
  • They didn’t tell you that their company has one of the highest numbers of employees on Medicaid in all of Washington.
  • They didn’t tell you about the multi-million-dollar lawsuits alleging DoorDash violated workers’ rights; one alleging unfair and deceptive business practices, another resulting in a $2.5 million settlement for allegedly pocketing workers’ tips, plus a $5,325 million settlement for allegedly not paying workers benefits.
  • They didn’t tell you that a disproportionate share of the 40,000 people in app-based work in Seattle are Black and Latinx workers.
  • They didn’t tell you that, by their own admission, $15 more an hour to get to Seattle’s minimum wage means that DoorDash is currently only paying workers $2.27 an hour, according to an analysis from Working Washington.
  • They didn’t tell you that when low-wage workers get higher wages the economy grows. Every extra dollar in a low-wage workers’ pocket adds $1.21 to the economy and leads to job creation, too.

    I am setting the record straight about PayUp.

    Our legislation will make sure that app-based workers, like delivery drivers for DoorDash, have the same workplace protections that everyone else in Seattle has. That would mean:

  • Corporations like DoorDash would have to pay workers at least the minimum wage.
  • These corporations would have to be more transparent. They would have to tell their workers and you, the customer, how much of your money goes to the workers.
  • They would have to provide the flexibility they promised workers when they applied, prohibiting them from penalizing workers for refusing deliveries that cost more money than they can make on the trip.

    Look, we’ve heard all of this before. Big corporations have been making the same arguments against the minimum wage since Franklin D. Roosevelt first passed it in the 1930s. Here is what he said back then:

    do not let a calamity-howling executive, with an income above $1,000 a day, who has been turning his employees over to the government relief rolls in order to preserve his company’s undistributed reserves, using his stockholder’s money for the postage for his personal opinions, tell you that a wage of $11 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.

    Everyone deserves the minimum wage. The Seattle minimum wage has been rigorously studied by the University of Washington, and it was determined that the minimum wage increase did not affect prices. PayUp has undergone nearly a year of engagement with stakeholders, including drivers and the companies with whom they work. That engagement thus far has included over a dozen large-format stakeholder meetings and five public meetings at the City Council’s Public Safety and Human Services Committee.

    That’s why more than 240 small restaurant owners and operators support it. It’s why organizations such as the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, who fight to keep people from falling into homelessness, are supporting it. Or why organizations like OneAmerica, Puget Sound Sage, Somali Community Services, the National Employment Law Project, SEIU 775, SEIU 6, and the Transit Riders Union support this legislation. And, most importantly, it’s why dozens of your neighborhood DoorDash drivers have been showing up every week at City Council meetings urging us to pass PayUp.

    Here’s more information. Regardless of your opinion on this legislation, please know I do value your insights. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about this policy that I can answer.

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