Delivery workers are pushing New York City’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection to bump up the minimum wage for app-based workers $5 higher than the $23.82 preliminary proposal the office released last week.

For the first time ever, New York City plans to set an hourly minimum wage for app-based food delivery workers, slated to kick in by January of next year, under a law passed by the City Council last year.

After months of studying the wages and working conditions of more than 60,000 app-based food delivery workers, the city suggested a starting hourly minimum wage of $17.87, to be phased up to $23.82 by April 2025.

That would equate to a base wage of $19.86 an hour, plus $2.26 for work related expenses and $1.70 for workers compensation benefits the workers aren’t eligible for, like unemployment insurance, according to the city’s estimates.

At a press conference outside City Hall Monday morning, delivery workers argued their out-of-pocket expenses are far higher than what the city calculated. They say with $5 more per hour they’d be closer to the wage they deserve for keeping New Yorkers fed during the pandemic, and beyond.

“This job it’s difficult, it’s complicated. Many have lost their lives doing this job,” said delivery worker and organizer Antonio Solís in Spanish. “We have to have a just salary.”

A city study released last week hammered Solís’ point home, revealing app-based food delivery workers earn about $4.03 an hour without tips after expenses were taken out. With tips, they still earn the subminimum wage of $11.12 an hour after expenses.

On top of wages below the state’s standard, workers face perilous conditions on the job, with 33 app-based workers killed on city streets since 2020, and about a third of workers suffering workplace injuries and physical assaults, the report found.

The city’s proposal represents a significant increase for app-based workers, but Ligia Guallpa, with the Workers Justice Project— which has been helping delivery workers organize for better conditions for over two years— argued the city has a unique opportunity to go one step further.

“We appreciate their effort for what they have done this past year,” she said. “The city [has] the opportunity to deliver not a minimum wage, an actual living wage, because that’s what Deliveristas are asking.”

Grubhub, Doordash and UberEats have expressed concerns about the new regulations. In September they sued New York City over caps on third party commissions, in a suit that’s still outstanding, records show.

Freddi Goldstein, a spokesperson for Uber, said if the regulations go ahead as planned, the company will lock out workers during times of low demand— a similar tactic the company used in 2019 when the city issued regulations aimed at for-hire vehicles.

Goldstein said the rules would, “force apps to block couriers from working when and where they want.”

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission eventually switched from a minimum hourly wage standard, to a formula that factors in the amount of time a driver works as well as minutes and miles of any ride.

Eli Scheinholtz, a spokesperson for DoorDash, expressed similar concerns.

“Dashing allows so many across New York City to earn when, where, and how often they choose,” he said. “Failing to address this could significantly increase the costs of delivery, reducing orders for local businesses and harming the very delivery workers it intends to support.”

Michael Lanza, a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, encouraged anyone interested to submit their comments on the proposed minimum wage for app-based delivery workers, ahead of a public hearing set for Dec. 16.

Correction: A previous version of this story misattributed the quote from a DoorDash spokesperson. The quote is from Eli Scheinholtz. Also, it incorrectly reported on the details of Grubhub, Doordash and UberEats' lawsuit against New York City. The companies are suing the city over third party commissions, and not the hourly minimum wage for app-based food delivery workers.