In mid-April, three gig workers became victims of violent crime in Florida: woman was kidnapped and sexually assaulted after being delivered to the door, the couple’s car was shot at after turning into the wrong driveway while trying to deliver an Instacart order and the man was killed after delivery by Uber Eats.
While the news is unsettling, for some gig workers, the sense of insecurity is becoming more of an issue.
“The safety of drivers and couriers is our top priority, and we will continue to invest in critical safety features such as the ability to chat with a security agent in real time, record ride audio on the app in nearly 150 US cities, and share your ride. from loved ones,” an Uber spokesperson said. Entrepreneur.
Roberto Moreno, formerly of GrubHub and Postmates. in San Diego County, reported AP On Monday, he stopped working altogether on sharing and delivery services out of fear for his safety.
“We have to take care of ourselves because companies don’t,” he told the publication.
Moreno also noted a discrepancy between the checks required of drivers and passengers. Drivers must provide selfies, go through background checks and provide other personal information, but when it comes to passengers, “we don’t know anything about the passengers or the people we deliver to,” he said.
On the subject: DoorDash employee says customer pulled knife on her during creepy delivery: ‘I just want human contact’
Gig Workers Rising, an activist group fighting for the safety and protection of gig workers, found that 80 app workers were killed on the job between 2017 and 2022, with 31 killed in 2022 alone, indicating an increase in violence. The report was based on press releases, police records and court documents.
“Application workers around the world are grappling with workplace business models and practices that are causing them to face an unprecedented and racial health and safety crisis,” the organization said in a report.
In 2021, NBC News spoke with 15 gig workers — they all said they often “feared for their safety” and that violence appeared to have erupted during and after the pandemic.
That same year, Uber implemented new safety measures to protect drivers, such as a thorough examination for passengers who use untraceable payment methods such as gift cards. Last failurethe company has implemented additional security features such as blocking passenger accounts that appear to be fake or offensive, the ability to video record a ride using the front camera, and record sound during a ride.
“We have developed these new features to provide more peace of mind when driving and delivering,” the company said in a statement.
However, according to the Gig Workers Rising report, of all gig-focused apps, Uber had the most worker killings in 2022, accounting for 39% of total crimes.
Regarding the Gig Workers Rising report, Uber noted that the death of Milton Pillasela Ayora (which is attributed to Uber in the report) was unrelated to the Uber platform, and that the other reported death, Michael Wallace, occurred in 2018 but is still included in the most last report.
On the subject: Uber courier drivers are concerned that their cars are being used to transport drugs