Why Postmates workers are Blitzing Up: $4 an hour isn’t enough
This Saturday, thousands of workers are participating in a nationwide #BlitzUp to fight back against the sudden pay cuts Postmates made in mid-May.
Why? The fact that Postmates cut pay overnight with no warning is bad enough. But it gets worse when you dig into what Postmates is actually paying workers since they “updated” their pay system.
Let’s take a look at what last week was like for Chris Palmer, a Postmates worker who drives in Seattle, WA.
In total, Postmates paid Chris $202.91 last week. (That’s the amount of his “total weekly earnings” that came from Postmates, not customers’ tips.)
On top of that, he put 195 miles on his car while he was out making deliveries. Driving that many miles costs money in gas and wear & tear. The IRS estimates that cost as 58 cents/mile. That means Chris’s work for Postmates last week ended up costing him $113.29 in gas and car maintenance.
So in the end, what he took home for the week was just $89.62.
For 37 deliveries.
The average order this week took him about 35 minutes to complete...leaving him with a grand total of $4.15 an hour.
That’s about a quarter of the minimum wage in Seattle, where Chris does most of his deliveries.
(And that’s not even accounting for the additional payroll taxes Postmates workers cover as independent contractors.)
When Postmates cut their pay and got rid of their minimum guarantee per job, they told drivers the new rates would “remove the need for a minimum guarantee.”
What they meant was, apparently, was that they no longer felt the need to guarantee their workers they’d be paid for their time at all.
What they failed to mention was what their new pay system actually means for the people doing the work: pay that comes out to less than they were making before, less than the minimum wage, and less than what Postmates owes.
The reality is, Postmates and all the other gig companies — like DoorDash, Grubhub, and UberEats — seem to be chipping away at workers’ pay. They’re all trying to figure out their own “innovative” way of avoiding their obligation to just pay the people who do the work.
That’s why workers on all these different platforms are fighting back. That’s why thousands of Postmates couriers across the country are standing together this Saturday in a #BlitzUp day of action to demand a new minimum guarantee of $6 per job, plus the cost of mileage.