Update: National #PayUp Meeting & Next Steps!

Hundreds of you joined us for our very first National #PayUp meeting on March 27. We came together and talked about how we go from big ideas to crafting real policy. We dug into some of the issues people are seeing across different apps. And we talked about the next steps we can all take to make gig companies finally #PayUp.

Four things you can do right now to keep the momentum going:

  1. Outreach to workers across all apps! Join the Pay Up Campaign Facebook group to connect with other workers, and click here for more info on how you can help with outreach to gig workers.

  2. Help shape our big ideas into real policy by taking the Pay Up Policy Survey here. This is a chance to make sure you have a voice in crafting policy that really works for workers.

  3. Share your story by filling out our Story Builder here. One big part of the fight is making sure politicians, media, and the community understand the reality of life as a gig worker — and sharing our personal stories is a huge part of making that happen.

  4. Start reaching out to elected officials in your area and asking them to sign on to an open letter supporting our #PayUp demands. For info on how to do that, click here. Help us identify champions for our cause & we’ll help connect you with them and make your voice heard!

Recap: Where we’re at now & how we got here

Instacart workers started this movement by speaking out about massive pay cuts on their app & the company’s shady practice of taking customers’ tips. They got a $7 billion company to respond to their demands and cave on some of them…but the changes they made still aren’t enough.

Instacart and other apps like DoorDash, Postmates, and dozens more are still underpaying workers. And they’re still not giving workers the transparency we need to make our gigs work for us.

That’s why workers are coming together around the #PayUp demands: $15/hr + expenses, tips on top, and transparency. (Read more about the PayUp demands here.)

And it’s not enough to just demand these things from the companies we work for — we need to fight for outside accountability in the form of new laws & policies at the city, state, and federal level to make sure gig companies can’t get away with underpaying workers.

A few quick app-specific updates

In addition to our large-scale work to hold gig companies accountable, we’re bringing workers on specific apps together to make change. Kaylania, who has worked in the gig economy since 2010 on apps like DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates, Instacart, and more, as well as running her YouTube channel, TheBlessedDriver. Here’s what’s new…


  • Hundreds of you submitted data on Instacart’s pay to Working WA so they could look at what the workers were actually getting paid & how much their expenses actually were, to help us make the case that we need more.

  • That data will be released next week, but as a sneak peek: overall, we got 679 submissions of weekly earnings, and over 3000 submissions of individual jobs. The data shows that tips made up about 1/3 of pay on average, and when we backed out expenses, the average pay was SUBSTANTIALLY less than $15/hr — and in many cases, workers were making below the minimum wage.


  • DoorDash is feeling a lot of heat right now because people are calling them out for taking tips just like Instacart did.

  • In response, DoorDash has hired a crisis management company to convene “roundtables” where randomly selected drivers give feedback on different pay models.

  • We built a calculator for DoorDash jobs similar to the one we made for Instacart jobs — you can use it to calculate what they’re actually offering on a given job or what you actually got paid over the course of the week, once you factor in all the expenses & extra taxes you cover

What’s next

Mia, an Instacart worker who’s a leader on the campaign in WA, told us about what it’s going to take to move the #PayUp campaign forward and win big changes in the law that would protect gig workers’ pay and rights.

We need a huge number of people on board to make this happen, and every gig worker should have a chance to have their voices heard,” she said. “People must know that they aren’t alone in this.”

She also talked about the need to start developing real policies out of our demands and reaching out to legislators. “We are working with policy experts to turn our big ideas into a real policy. We need you to be a part of this process,” she said. “We’re thinking national, but we must think locally first. We need to communicate these ideas to people who can champion us. We need to find the right local policymakers and elected officials and ask them to help us.

The PayUp demands

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Matthew, an Instacart worker who’s been leading the effort to hold the company accountable for years, shared why he thinks it’s vital for gig workers to come together around the formation of new laws: “There’s no better time to unite behind these universal messages of fair work and fair pay - no better time to go bigger & join forces with other gig workers and lawmakers…striking and ganging up on the company on Twitter is really fun, but we’ve grown beyond that. The issues are much larger, systemic, and require true changes to secure our right to a fair wage.”

Making public policy happen

Karina Bull, of Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards, joined the call to talk about what it looks like to make public policy at the local level — and the research the city is doing into creating new policies for gig workers, thanks to workers speaking out. “We recognize that there are many problems facing gig workers, so we are in research mode,” she said. “We’ve had a very informative, enjoyable time meeting with Instacart workers with Working Washington, and it’s really been insightful to learn from you, the workers, what problems you are experiencing.”

Karina talked about the importance of workers speaking out & how it can lead to real change: “We really want to let you know that when Mia and Matthew say that worker voices have an impact and matter, they are correct. We really are listening to what you are saying, and we’re thinking about what we can do with the information you provide us.”

She also talked about how the city of Seattle, and other cities, can move these policies forward & be models for the rest of the country — time and time again, cities like Seattle have led the way for pro-worker policies that have spread to other cities & states and across the country.

Next steps!

Kristin, an Instacart worker from Covington, WA, talked about the importance of spreading the word: “Seattle is great, it started this huge campaign and this movement, but we need to build on that. We want other people to step up as leaders and work in groups in your cities so we can actually get things to happen.”

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She talked about the things we all can be doing in the coming months to move the #PayUp campaign forward — “We all have different roles, we’re all comfortable doing different things, you don’t have to run up and talk to everybody you meet, you don’t have to write a letter to somebody — but you can do something.” Here’s some of the things you can do help lead the fight for gig workers’ rights:

Got another idea of how you want to get involved? Just want to chat? Email gig@workingwa.org!

Thanks for being a part of this fight!