A continued uprising in carjackings in Chicago has resulted in rideshare drivers rallying and demanding change. On the evening of March 14, 2021, CBS 2’s Jermont Terry spoke with rideshare drivers about their concerns.
The Chicago Gig Alliance has submitted a list of demands, saying, “We need safety on the job, so we know we won’t get robbed.” Earning a living wage and staying safe on the job is at the top of the list.
According to Eli Martin, a rideshare driver, “They don’t really do much to prevent people from carjacking us. It’s not like I feel endangered. I just can’t work. I think if you talk to most gig workers, they’re in the same position. Just because you don’t feel safe doesn’t mean you don’t have bills.” Martin has made a living as a rideshare driver for the past seven years.
In regard to the carjackings, instances have been spiking dramatically in 2021 compared to the average for the past five years. Chicago police are not separating how many carjacking victims are rideshare drivers, but gig workers believe they make up a large percentage of the victims.
In an effort to combat the issues, Uber recently made it mandatory for new accounts that use anonymous forms of payment to upload an ID. Gig workers, however, would prefer that all riders upload pictures just like drivers have to do. In regard to that, Martin said, “Their technology works quick. You take a picture of yourself; it lets me drive. Passengers should have to do the same thing, and that will reduce a lot of crime and attacks.”
Because the rideshare companies consider drivers independent contractors, it is harder to achieve safety and uphill battle. Now, gig workers are hoping to get lawmakers involved to have the companies listen more closely to their demands.
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