New Legislation Would Require Restaurants To Let Delivery Cyclists Use Their Restroom


Mamadou Kokeina has been a supply bike owner in New York Metropolis since 2015, working for Uber Eats, GrubHub and DoorDash. Other than the grueling hours, harmful working situations, and low wages, Kokeina mentioned that one of many challenges of the job is with the ability to relieve himself whereas he is on the job.

“Most of us work full time, ten to 12 hours a day, and it’s good to use the lavatory,” Kokeina mentioned, describing a latest incident by which a restaurant he was delivering meals for would not let him use the restroom.

“Mainly they are saying, it is just for clients. If you would like, you possibly can pay for one thing if you wish to use it,” Kokeina mentioned. He mentioned ended up peeing on the road between parked vehicles.

“It was very, very discomforting for me. You see any person, if he wants the lavatory proper now, and you do not enable him to make use of it, the way you gonna really feel?”

On Thursday, the Metropolis Council is introducing a package deal of six payments aimed toward addressing among the issues that town’s estimated 80,000 supply employees, who’re predominately immigrants of coloration, face day-after-day, together with one that might require eating places to permit supply employees to make use of their restrooms or face a high quality.

Different proposals would require supply apps to offer unbanked employees with a non-banking fee possibility, pay them as soon as every week, and supply them with supply baggage, enable supply employees to set a most supply distance with out incurring a penalty, and set a minimal per journey fee, excluding ideas. One invoice launched final yr, which might require companies and eating places to offer town with a breakdown of how ideas are distributed to employees, is being reintroduced.

Dozens of delivery workers who are members of the collective Los Deliveristas Unidos outside City Hall on Tuesday afternoon after a press conference announcing the new legislation.


Dozens of supply employees who’re members of the collective Los Deliveristas Unidos exterior Metropolis Corridor on Tuesday afternoon after a press convention saying the brand new laws.


East Village Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who’s sponsoring the lavatory invoice, mentioned at a press convention on Tuesday afternoon that the laws is a primary step to set requirements for an {industry} that noticed excessive progress in the course of the pandemic.

“We’d like apps to be offering free or extremely backed e-bikes, we want our metropolis companies to offer actual safe bike storage, and we want a public security response that respects employees,” Rivera mentioned.

The laws comes three weeks after Francisco Villalva, a 29-year-old supply bike owner, was fatally shot in East Harlem whereas attempting to fend off somebody who was attempting to steal his e-bike.

Maria Figueroa, the director of Labor and Coverage Analysis on the Cornell College’s Employee Institute, mentioned that in a survey of 500 supply employees citywide, 53% have been victims of motorcycle robberies, and a 3rd of these assaults concerned bodily violence; 45% of the employees additionally mentioned they’ve experiences underpayment or nonpayment for every week’s value of labor.

The survey additionally confirmed that 67% of the employees have been denied the usage of a toilet.

Throughout an Higher West Facet Group Board assembly earlier this month, a number of members of Group Board 7 criticized the lavatory invoice.

“You may’t power a restaurateur to let somebody use the lavatory in the event that they’re against it. The entire thing is asinine,” one member mentioned, in response to Streetsblog.

Andrew Rigie, the chief director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, a bunch representing restaurant house owners, mentioned he was supportive of the lavatory invoice, and that it was a “disgrace” that some eating places had been barring the cyclists. “It’s an affordable request as long as sufficient protocols are in place to assist guarantee there isn’t an pointless disturbance to a restaurant’s operations,” Rigie mentioned in an announcement.

The laws continues the Metropolis Council’s efforts to manage the supply app {industry}. Final yr, the Metropolis Council capped the charges that the supply corporations may cost eating places at 20% per order: 15% for supply orders, 5% for all orders positioned via the app. Some corporations had been charging as a lot as 30%.

GrubHub is the most important of the supply apps in New York Metropolis, with no less than 50% of the market share for meals deliveries, in response to a latest evaluation. The corporate additionally posted revenues of half a billion {dollars} within the final quarter of 2020, roughly 50% enhance over 2019.

A spokesperson for GrubHub (which owns Seamless, MenuPages, and a number of different listing providers) mentioned in an announcement, “The well being, security and success of supply employees throughout NYC is important to our enterprise. We sit up for reviewing the proposals and persevering with to work with the Metropolis Council and Mayor’s Workplace on these essential points.”

“DoorDash is consistently working to help Dashers and enhance working situations for all supply employees, which is why final yr we introduced an industry-leading sequence of initiatives targeted on strengthening security, increasing restroom entry, and defending earnings,” a spokesperson for the corporate, which additionally owns Caviar, wrote in an emailed assertion. “These embody offering free and discounted street security gear, figuring out restrooms in lots of of eating places that Dashers can use when choosing up an order, and offering Dashers with assets to scale back their bills. We’re actively engaged with the Dasher group and keen to have interaction with policymakers on methods all stakeholders can higher help New York Metropolis supply employees.” 

Uber Eats (which owns Postmates) didn’t instantly reply to questions on whether or not they supported the package deal of laws.

During the last yr, among the metropolis’s supply bike owner workforce got here collectively to kind Los Deliveristas Unidos, a collective that has held marches and rallies for higher working situations, with the assistance of the Employees Justice Challenge. New York’s largest service employees union, SEIU 32BJ, which gained larger wages for quick meals employees, has additionally began to help the supply cyclists.

“As a bunch, we are able to do a lot, you understand? However when have been separate we’re not going to have the ability to do something,” mentioned Kokeina, who represents African employees inside Los Deliveristas Unidos. “I really feel proud. For those who win one thing, it is gonna be a profit to each supply particular person.”