Seattle City Council to vote on proposal to lower wages for app-based delivery drivers

SEATTLE — On Tuesday the Seattle City Council will vote on a new ordinance that would ultimately roll back wage increases that passed for delivery drivers and other gig workers back in January.

“Right now, we get $26.40 an hour and a 74-cent mileage compensation as well the new proposal would be lowering it down to $19.97 an hour and something like 35 cents a mile,” Alex Kim, who drives for four different rideshare companies, said.

Kim said if the new ordinance passes, his pay would be cut drastically. He told KIRO 7 that right now he is on pace to make about 70 percent more than he did in 2023 before the PayUp ordinance was passed.

“I just did three grocery orders right before I got here and I got paid like $90 for about like under an hour and a half of work so like the hourly payment on that is really, really good,” he said.

The new ordinance would slash the minimum wage from $26.40 per hour to $19.97 per hour. It would also cut the amount of money drivers earn per mile from 74 cents to 35 cents.

As of now pay is calculated on a per offer basis with a $5 minimum, but the changes would mean that pay would be calculated over a network of company earnings period and the minimum pay offer would be eliminated.

Additionally, the new ordinance would mean that drivers wouldn’t get paid until they were “en route” as opposed to under the current ordinance where paid time starts when they accept an offer.

Councilmembers Nelson and Rivera are sponsors of the new ordinance. Some in favor say this guarantees a wage for workers, but Kim disagrees.

“That would indicate that for every single minute I have my app on I’m getting paid, that’s not true at all because you only get paid for active time,” he said. “I’m going to get paid $19.97 an hour only when I’m working and there’s going to be down time that means I’m going to get paid less than the minimum wage in Seattle.”

DoorDash said in a statement “Since this law was implemented, it has been our goal to find a solution that would increase orders and earnings opportunities for Dashers and small businesses while making delivery a more affordable option for Seattle consumers.

The proposed changes to the law guarantee Dashers will earn approximately $20 per hour on delivery in addition to mileage and tips while creating a path to lowering delivery costs. We’re grateful that Council President Nelson and Drive Forward were able to reconvene stakeholders and reach a compromise that better serves Dashers, local businesses and consumers in Seattle.”

KIRO 7 also reached out to GrubHub, UberEats and Instacart for comment and are waiting to hear back.

Comments on this article