About Delivery Workers

I didn’t dare go to my very busy pharmacy and stand in line for a prescription, so I used Instacart and a youngish petite blond woman delivered it.  We are all using delivery services more these days. Their employees take the chances we are not willing to take, and fulfill a service without which our lives would substantially loose quality and comforts. In addition they are instrumental to our being able to stay safe.  We are grateful, yes, yet they are the lowest paid.  They have to use their own cars and are not reimbursed for the wear and tear. The husband of a house cleaner I know was a Uber driver and needed new tires which he could not afford, a scenario many of those workers surely face. Even more relevant in an era when health care is more crucial than usual, they have no health benefits. We like the cheap services. Would we use Instacart as much if the charges were higher? And if they were, for many they would no longer be affordable. It’s also the same conflict many of us have with using Amazon, a company who pays their warehouse and delivery workers so little. There are signs that after the pandemic eases the delivery businesses will have to change. There are pressures for them to do so, economic, social, legal. The result is likely to lead to higher prices for having things delivered. When that happens, for it is inevitable, how will our gratitude for all the delivery workers who cushion our lives extend to accept higher charges so that they can have better salaries and better benefits?