The union-backed study comes amid extended fight over whether gig drivers are contractors or employees of ride-hailing giants, and what they should be owed
Amid a contentious battle over the rights of gig workers, a new union-backed report has found that Uber and Lyft drivers in Massachusetts earn well below the minimum wage, or $12.82 an hour.
The study, based on third-party data from one million ride-hail trips in the state from June 2022 to July 2023, found that nearly three of five drivers made less than $15 an hour — the state minimum wage for hourly employees — and that half of ride-hail earnings were taken up by expenses such as gas and vehicle maintenance. In Greater Boston, 53 percent of time that ride-hail drivers spent working was spent without a passenger in the car, and therefore unpaid, much of it moving between pickups or repositioning themselves to meet customer demand.
(The data was collected from 1,929 local drivers through Gridwise, an app used by many gig workers to track their work earnings and expenses. It was analyzed by Big Lake Data.)
The report, which comes amid efforts by Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ to organize ride-hail drivers in Massachusetts, purports that poor working conditions, including “stark discrepancies between promised earnings and actual compensation, extensive work hours, and unaddressed work-related expenses,” are “pervasive within the industry” and have led to high turnover amongst drivers.
Read the full story at BostonGlobe.com