Given how reliant many people have become on rideshare drivers and especially delivery workers during the pandemic, Uber is pushing for them to get priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Today, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sent a letter to all 50 governors asking them to prioritize giving drivers and delivery workers the vaccine as essential workers.
“Over the last nine months, these workers have been a lifeline to their communities,” Khosrowshahi wrote in the letter. “They have transported healthcare workers to hospitals, delivered food to people socially distancing at home, and helped local restaurants stay in business.”
In the letter, Khosrowshahi argues that the work of drivers and delivery people has become essential. That’s why Uber wants them to get the vaccine “quickly, easily and for free,” he wrote in the letter. Additionally, Uber has offered to help share information about the vaccine and encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated.
“After nine months on the frontlines keeping their communities running, we are asking governors in all 50 states to prioritize drivers and delivery people for early vaccine access,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Uber stands ready to do everything we can—leveraging our technology, our logistical expertise and our resources—to help protect the people working on our platform and bring vaccines to the public as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Khosrowshahi’s letter to governors is an addition to the one Uber sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that advocated for the inclusion of non-health essential workers in the priority phase of distribution for the vaccine.
Uber’s advocating on behalf of workers comes amid an ongoing battle around how to classify rideshare drivers and delivery workers. Uber has long argued that its workers are not employees, while many gig workers have argued they are misclassified as independent contractors and should be entitled to the many labor rights that come with the employee classification.