Delivery workers fight for rights as industry booms

The delivery industry is booming during the pandemic, but many of its workers are struggling and fighting for essential rights.
6:28 | 02/05/21

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Transcript for Delivery workers fight for rights as industry booms
We turn ounces some of the unsung heroes of this pandemic the delivery workers who have kept our lives running as we safely hunkered down. And while the delivery industry is booming these workers are now struggling ABC's Reyna Roy takes a closer look. On any given day in New York City you'll find Jose Morales navigating the streets by bike. Spending hours on then delivering food to New York curse in the dead of winter. You'll bring it to them to the comedian that I won't Hollis we'll reality freezing called. Trying to they cannot as live and every day. Restaurants now rely on delivery workers to survive. Delivery orders have surged in the last year the food delivery industry is worth more than 111. Billion dollars exploding with the rise of apps like door dash Amazon and Guber east. But for these curry or is it can be dangerous. Couriers are often vulnerable to violence and theft. Jose told me his bike was stolen twice. You have to start from ground zero jets to stutter all over again and then later that you'll make didn't. Did trying to maneuver that night. By an abides. By grocery. Cave paved portion of your friends. And everything are that come along what it's. Todd Lee he had playoff is the executive director. The workers justice project in New York City to help bring careers together as most of Liberty's thousand needles or delivery workers united then lost. Pressing issues that food delivery workers are facing now is. The lack of access to bathroom this. No pay need. How unsafe working conditioning inside and most important and need these are the workers who I admitted he doing the most essential jobs with the Knoll workers attacked. She's. Yeah they organize this march and October to demand the center right. So these issues existed before the pandemic how have they gotten worse during a pandemic so food delivery workers are they seeing. What we consider it one of the deadliest and most dangerous jobs in this CD. And doing it and and they they're doing this work without any safety protection ends. Without personal protective equipment in most important he must workers I doing this with Knoll. Pay eighteen. Labeled as independent contractors are not entitled to a minimum wage and overtime or benefits like health insurance and there were roughly 50000 delivery workers in New York City before the pandemic. And as unemployment skyrocketed that number went up as people search for work. Who briefs alone signing up 36000. New careers in New York since marks from many with unpredictable pay. They've been an all struggled because and I don't need to make in this and Amano money. You had to work tonight seven days. During our interview Jose got a delivery request worth just three dollars and 75 cents from California legislators expanded gave worker rights with assembly bill five which allows some to be classified as employees. But companies like Hoover and lift threatened to leave the state. And launched a 220 million dollar campaign that helps get proposition 22. Past open and available to people from all rocks. That flexibility gives drivers independence of their jobs can't offer the tiny two we'll give them Bob Miller. Immediately. And UB classic I. Independent contractors. Not employees it would blueprint which would happy be neat if that were there is blunt TB workers they value equity over. How can you believe that no. Writers were able immigrant Atlanta in indoor ash and I can't change. Poorer people working for your challenge working decide how well. We founded this study and eat all who are hurt when he didn't Wear. Mean lower income. An income I Dee Lee boosted by tips but some workers say they don't always see that extra money. The fort 2019 George asked tips were used by the company to subsidize workers' base pay. Instead of giving delivery workers what their customers had intended for baton and Amazon just agreed to a 61 point seven million dollar settlement over allegations that it was withholding tips from delivery driver as telling ABC news while we disagree that the historical way we reported paid drivers was unclear who we added additional clarity into when he nineteen and are pleased to put this. And seats that were initially crafting similar laws like Illinois New Jersey are now has attendance. In New York workers justice project is in talks with council members like Carolina Rivera to pass legislation for essential workers like to stop all of America. Like who say he says his pay is also gone down with the recent influx of workers and the competition hasn't gotten. Tossed during the pans out then it. Before our I can say Kim made it a sad end to a Andrei it may be out week. Well now I tell you Larry far harder two with six fundraisers. So again they would weak and they gave maybe they think congress where brake are. This double like many couriers in New York City is an immigrant. He moved to the US from Mexico City thirteen years ago chasing that American dream witness that they be it'll. I got them but I laugh when I had an idiot in Vietnam. Beaumont C adult bundle of discus but out of but we took the involved. This and we go to it's very difficult because we have to wait and many people don't understand that we have to wait outside for 1530 minutes fifteen to thirty minutes wait outside and sometimes no I don't think people believe that point because you can't stand for that long sometimes. I hate war in the morning nice seeks out wars. I'm bout column I use my bilateral. I'm now back Pavel artists are working heading. Six a seven hour and a without about found yet with no brakes and adults not breaks and another caller no they're making about. Pass the amount of money by a guy is very hard because I had to put their foot in the Saba had to pay the rent had to pay everything. There's no gagged on it is what it is and we don't have many options either because the city doesn't take a serious. Reader Roy for ABC news lives.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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