Ride-hail drivers face tough choices as US aid expires

Ride Hailing

Uber driver Johan Nijman faces a challenging decision as unemployment aid expires: risk failing to pay for groceries and even lose his home, or resume driving and catch coronavirus.

Nijman is among tens of thousands of Uber Technologies and Lyft drivers across the US picking between health dangers as $600 in unemployment aid perish.

While drivers aren’t the only workers currently fighting, they are especially vulnerable because their work puts them close to strangers. Additionally they have none of benefits or the protection that workers enjoy.

With type 2 diabetes placing him at risk for acute coronavirus, Nijman stopped driving in mid-March when the virus had been raging through New York City. He earned some money driving for Uber’s car service in an SUV he purchased when he signed up in 2017.

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He applied for unemployment and received around $900 in gains – some $300 in the state and $600 in the national government. That covered his expenses.

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Without the 600, Nijman stated he faces ruin, placing home and his car.

Motorists, like Sacramento-based Melinda Pualani, are waiting to procedure.

She resumed thoroughly disinfecting her car, rolling windows down, driving a week and asking passengers to wear masks.

Federal pandemic cover offered a lifeline to gig workers for unemployment insurance that was regular. Uber and Lyft lobbied American lawmakers to include gig employees in the taxpayer-funded March coronavirus relief bill and employees remain eligible for state-based aid.

No information is available on gig workers’ share one of the 30 million Americans currently collecting unemployment. However, the improved $600 cover stopped a week and US lawmakers are at an impasse over how to expand it.

Uber and Lyft have provided drivers with disinfectants and masks. They pay drivers infected by the virus or ordered to quarantine help.

Requests dropped 80 percent in April and stay below levels. Uber and Lyft are expected to provide updates when they report results on Thursday and Wednesday, respectively.

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For parents, the timing is tricky.

Struggling to breathe and alone, she feared she may not recover.

Rozier is fearful of contracting it or even bringing the virus.

But she fears altercations. Uber and Lyft have resisted masks for passengers and drivers, but motorist dashcam videos posted online have revealed arguments.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Tina Bellon in New York. Editing by Ben Klayman and Peter Henderson.

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