Gig Workers Have Nowhere to Pee

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  • #259931

    • Total Posts: 4,914

    Motherboard spoke to delivery drivers who work on Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Instacart, and found that not having access to a bathroom while picking up and delivering food for hours is a common problem in many areas of the country. Drivers told us that often restaurants will post signs or tell drivers that bathrooms are reserved for customers only, forcing them to use the bathroom outside or pee in cups in their cars. As middlemen who shuttle food between businesses and customers, gig workers who deliver food and groceries often find themselves occupying a marginalized position. Neither customer nor employee, gig workers are denied the amenities typically offered to both. Federal laws requires that employees provide a least one bathroom for roughly every 15 employees, but this access does not extend to gig workers who are independent contractors.

    ‘There are several restaurants in San Francisco that I’ve asked to use the bathroom and they’ve said ‘no,’” Mostafa Maklad, who works for UberEats, GrubHub, Postmates, and DoorDash in San Francisco, told Motherboard. “It’s very frustrating when you’re working and have no way to use the bathroom because there just aren’t public bathrooms in this city. Usually, I just try to find one at the next restaurant.”

    One gig worker on UberEats and DoorDash who asked to remain anonymous to talk about an embarrassing topic, told Motherboard that barring gig workers from entering restaurant bathrooms is common practice in Chicago. “It’s not unusual. One in five or six restaurants I go into have a sign like that,” he said. And while some restaurants post blatant signs meant to keep out gig workers, most employ more tactful strategies, simply stating that bathrooms are reserved for customers only, he said.

    “It’s inconvenient and not rare that bathrooms are reserved for customers,” he said. “We’re spending more money at restaurants than a customer would spend on the same order…and many of us would just like to wash our hands when we pick up food.”

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

  • #259940

    Cold Mountain Trail
    • Total Posts: 6,944

    “many of us would just like to wash our hands when we pick up food.”

    I bet their customers would like that too.

  • #259949

    NV Wino
    • Total Posts: 4,216

    The United States seems to be the only first world country that does not have an abundance of public restrooms. During the peace marches in San Francisco the PTB locked the the new (and few) public kiosk restrooms. Some of the buses that transported protesters allowed people to use their on-board restrooms.

    “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
    “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

  • #259966

    • Total Posts: 173

    This is a stretch, but last week I was thinking: Kobe Bryant’s chopper pilot was part of the gig economy. The multi millionaire et al needed to get to a fucking Basketball game, and it was, fly VFR below minimums (to avoid further delay by filing IFR flight plan) or else perhaps we’ll replace you (the pilot) with an even more loyal team-player pilot.  Again, a stretch, but it was sticking in my craw last week, so there it is.   Uber driver of the sky – RIP.

  • #259988

    • Total Posts: 1,693

    Forcing struggling workers to go into restaurants and buy food when they are not hungry, but just desperate to use a toilet.  This is capitalist privatization and austerity at its very finest.

    The system works!

    “Unfortunately in this time of international crisis, it is clear to me at least, that we have an administration that is largely incompetent, and whose incompetence and recklessness have threatened the lives of many, many people in our country…..the United States government today must make it clear that in the midst of this emergency, everyone in our country, regardless of income or where they live, must be able to get all of the health care they need without cost“. Bernie Sanders , 3/12/20

  • #260009

    Ohio Barbarian
    • Total Posts: 11,164

    The mandatory gig economy should not exist, any more than billionaires should not exist. Such degrading treatment of human beings is exactly why capitalism should not be allowed do dictate how people should live.

    It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

    If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

  • #260219

    • Total Posts: 238

    The problem is, they are asking. They should be going Rosa Parks on this. Use the damn restroom and let the owners raise a fuss. If it requires a key, let the food sit there and get cold.

    They just need to say, “This is the way it’s going to work, from now on.” And so it will.

    Proclaiming a populist policy makes you Bernie Sanders like singing ‘Yesterday’ makes you Paul McCartney.

    • #260241

      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 11,164

      @bernin4u Don’t be too hard on them. After all, how many years did it take Rosa Parks to get sick and tired of being sick and tired? These people do one thing Uber doesn’t like, and their contract is canceled. They’re fired.

      What you are advocating is noble and courageous and easy to encourage, but when one is worried about paying one’s rent that worry tends to limit one’s choices.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

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