Starting Jan. 13, consumers expect to pay more in Seattle for deliveries under untested city regulations
SEATTLE (Jan. 11, 2024) – Costs for delivery services are about to become more expensive in Seattle under a new set of regulations taking effect today, raising concerns from members of the Alliance for Innovation and Independent Work.
The city’s new app-based worker law, approved by the previous City Council in 2022, was initially touted as an effort to protect delivery workers. In reality, Alliance members say the new regulations, which require delivery platforms to ensure drivers earn nearly $26 per hour, before tips, plus mileage will only drive up delivery costs for Seattle consumers, resulting in fewer delivery orders for independent delivery workers and lost revenue for the businesses they serve.
“Unfortunately, the previous city council acted to implement these new regulations without seeking any sort of data or research on the impacts of a measure like this on customers, delivery workers or retailers/hospitality,” said Marcos Wanless, President and Founder, Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Delivery services have been crucial for small businesses in Seattle since the pandemic. This is a bad policy that will harm these services and businesses in Seattle. Why place an order with a restaurant in Seattle when it’s going to cost significantly more compared to neighboring cities? And what about those who regularly rely on delivery of groceries as an essential service – elderly residents, people with disabilities and working families?” added Wanless. “Today, more than ever, costs matter for consumers. This law is just bad policy, with bad economic implications for independent workers, businesses and consumers.”
“We expect the new regulations to negatively impact retailers, especially small retail operations, in the city of Seattle,” said Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy & Government Affairs for the Washington Retail Association. “Any time you implement new, untested policies, there are going to be implementation challenges. In this case, those changes come with added costs, which directly affect sales and the number of deliveries available for independent workers.”
Tammie Hetrick, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association, said she hopes the new city council will take the time to review the new regulations and offer changes for the better.
“The new law reflects bad policy decisions implemented by the previous city council,” said Hetrick. “The outgoing council prided itself on being the first to implement these standards, but from a practical perspective, they are untested and unrealistic for retailers and delivery workers, and will result in cost increases for customers. While we will have to wait to see the full results, it’s clear that this policy could make delivery services prohibitively expensive for those who utilize them most.”
About the WA Alliance for Innovation and Independent Work
WA Alliance for Innovation and Independent Work is a coalition of consumers, independent workers, small businesses, app-based services, and community leaders from across the state that seeks to strengthen and support advancements in the new workplace. Today, flexible jobs, benefits, and innovative services are essential to enhancing Washington’s emerging economic opportunities and empowering the small businesses and workers who are leading and innovating.