City bike messengers and walkers are forming a new group to advocate for workers' rights.
Leaders of the newly created New York Messengers Alliance rallied on the steps of City Hall, calling on companies such as Uber and Postmates to provide more compensation.
They say many courier companies don’t provide a guaranteed minimum wage or paid sick leave because they classify their workers as independent contractors instead of employees.
The group says messengers face a constant risk of injury, and companies should provide better protections and benefits.
"I was injured while working for Uber," said Sadio Ballo, who is on the New York Messengers Alliance Executive Committee. "I fractured by ankle. I was left with a huge medical bill. I don’t have insurance, but regardless of my injury, I still had to come in and perform some deliveries in order for me to make a living."
The New York Messengers Alliance says it is the first non-driver affiliate of the National Taxi Workers Alliance.
An Uber spokesperson responded saying couriers often work for multiple apps, and they're working to make their company more rewarding for workers.