A New York City food delivery worker who rode for an hour through Hurricane Ida says he earned just $5 for the job

A delivery worker makes their way in the rainfall from Hurricane Ida during a flood on Intervale Avenue on September 1, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City. The once category 4 hurricane passed through New York City, dumping 3.15 inches (8cm) of rain in the span of an hour at Central Park.
A delivery worker makes their way in the rainfall from Hurricane Ida during a flood on Intervale Avenue on September 1, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City. The once category 4 hurricane passed through New York City, dumping 3.15 inches (8cm) of rain in the span of an hour at Central Park. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
  • A food-delivery worker said he traveled for an hour through Storm Ida and only made $US5 ($AU7).
  • Some delivery services allegedly offered workers peak pricing to deliver goods during the storm.
  • The record floods have been linked to at least 42 deaths in the Northeast.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A New York City food-delivery worker who trekked for an hour through the streets to deliver a meal as the remnants of Hurricane Ida walloped the Northeast says he only earned $US5 ($AU7) for the job.

“It’s a cruel joke,” Toño Solís, a member of the delivery worker labor collective Los Deliveristas Unidos, told The City of the small tips and wages he received.

Solís told the news site he made just $US5 ($AU7) for his final hour-long delivery of the night into Brooklyn from Astoria, Queens. He was one of several delivery workers who braved the storm on Wednesday night. A video of what appeared to be a GrubHub delivery driver leading his bike through waist-high flood waters in Brooklyn went viral on social media, sparking outrage on Twitter and garnering over 10 million views.

“Please do not be the person who orders delivery during a flash flood that the NWS has deemed a dangerous and life-threatening situation,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “It puts vulnerable people at risk.”

A GrubHub spokesperson told Insider it has not been able to confirm the driver is one of their gig workers.

“The safety of delivery workers is a top priority,” the spokesperson said. “While we always appreciate the hard work drivers put in to get the job done, no delivery worker for any company or restaurant should ever take an action that would jeopardize their safety.”

Gig workers for GrubHub, DoorDash, and Relay told The City and Vice that they received special incentives to make deliveries during the storm. Lázaro Morales, a GrubHub worker in Astoria, told The City base wages for deliveries went from $US2 ($AU3) per trip to as high as $US7 ($AU9) during the storm.

“I’m accustomed to working for Relay because of the incentives,” a Relay worker who preferred to remain anonymous told Vice. “When there’s rain or snow, you can make more money.”

A DoorDash spokesperson told Insider delivery options were paused in many areas during the storm, including Manhattan, but when deliveries were not on pause, workers may have received communications regarding pay incentives.

“We always encourage all members of our community to follow local guidance,” a DoorDash spokesperson told Insider. “Merchants can easily adjust their operations within their merchant portal and Dashers are always free to decline any order.”

As the leftovers from Hurricane Ida slammed the Big Apple Wednesday – causing massive flash floods, record-breaking rainfalls, and the deaths of more than a dozen New Yorkers – Solis says he worked a 9.5-hour day.

He made just $US115 ($AU155) for the day or roughly $US12 ($AU16)-an-hour with tips, The City reported.

“This is exactly why we protest and we organize – we need fair wages. These companies are getting richer and richer and we’re only earning $US5 ($AU7) in these conditions,” Solís said.

Spokespeople from Relay and UberEats did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.