Since 2017, more than 50 workers have died while working in the United States

Isabella Lewis was riding in an elevator on Sunday in Plana, Texas, last August when she was stolen by a car and killed by her passenger. While her family tried to figure out what had happened, they kept getting calls from an insurance company they didn’t recognize, but eventually realized it was a Lyft insurer who wanted to inspect Lewis ’car to determine if it would paid for repairs damaged the windshield and cleaned her blood.

To date, however, her family says there has been no communication from anyone with Lyft’s corporate office.

“The only thing we heard from Lyft was when they told the Dallas newspaper that their hearts were with us,” Lewis ’sister Alyssa said in an interview with the publication. Edge. “I wish [Lyft] treated the situation with more empathy. We didn’t feel like anyone was covering our backs like her family. ” The trip cost only $ 15, Alyssa added. Her family had to raise money for Isabella’s funeral on GoFundMe.

This was announced by Lyft spokeswoman Gabi Kandarka-Quesada in an email Edge that the company “has built security into every part of the Lyft experience. We are committed to doing our best to help protect drivers from crime, and will continue to take action and invest in technology, policies and partnerships to make Lyft as safe as possible. ”

In the case of Isabella Lewis, she added, the company tried unsuccessfully to contact the family. “The same day we learned of this tragic incident, we tried to contact Ms. Lewis’ family to offer their support. Unfortunately, we were unable to contact them. “

Lewis is one of more than 50 drivers killed in work since 2017, according to a new report from the Gig Workers Rising advocacy group, gathered using publicly available information, including news articles, police reports and GoFundMe companies. He emphasizes the risks of working with concerts and the fact that families often have little or no communication with companies, other than the banality offered by the media.

The report found that more than 63 percent of the workers killed over the past five years working with the programs were colored people, although they make up less than 40 percent of the U.S. workforce.

The figures in the report correspond to the limited self-reporting from individual platforms. In a 2021 public safety report, Lyft reported 10 fatal attacks on drivers from 2017 to 2019. In 2019, Uber reported 19 fatal attacks in the previous two years.

Gray Murphy, one of the report’s authors and a former Lyft driver, said in an interview with Edge that she was motivated to investigate the deaths of concerns at work by her own experience, which included driving a car in the midst of a pandemic without any worker competence or unemployment benefits. Lyft, Uber, DoorDash and other concert companies consider drivers to be independent contractors inadmissible for most benefits.

“Death shouldn’t happen as a result of companies not protecting their employees,” Murphy said. She was shocked to discover that many drivers killed at work were forced to turn to GoFundMe, like Lewis ’family, to cover funeral expenses. “Why no support, no call from the employer?”

Prior to the report on Wednesday, there were already numerous reports that ridershar companies could not help families after a loved one died at work; In January, the family of Ahmad Fawad Yusufi, a refugee from Afghanistan, said Uber was trying to evade responsibility for his death during a failed robbery attempt last year.

Women drivers are particularly prone to safety issues at work; a Edge A report earlier this year found that women who travel in companies do not feel protected by the companies they travel to. More than two dozen female drivers surveyed described incidents with passengers exposing themselves, soliciting sexual harassment or otherwise threatening them.

In its first security report, published in 2021, Lyft reported 4,000 allegations of sexual assault between 2017 and 2019. A similar Uber security report for 2019 – his latest – showed more than 3,000 allegations of sexual assault between 2017 and 2018. About half of the claims came from drivers.

This was announced by DoorDash spokeswoman Julian Crowley in an email Edge that the company “takes the safety of our community extremely seriously. Although negative incidents are incredibly rare, we are constantly working to increase security for all those who use our platform. ” He added that Dashers – as the company calls its drivers – have access to in-app security features and are covered by the company’s insurance against accidents at work. “We know we always need to do more, and we are committed to listening, learning and evolving to help make Dashers and the communities we serve safer.”

As part of the action day on Wednesday, groups of drivers are planning protests in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego and near the home of Uber CEO Dari Khasravshahi in the San Francisco area. The groups are demanding changes in the way program-based companies treat employees, including compensation for employees injured or killed while working, and an end to forced arbitration, which requires employees to consent to out-of-court hearings in the event of a legal decision. dispute. They want lawmakers to force companies to publicly report data on injuries and deaths at work. Also on their wish list: the right of workers to organize unions.

For her part, Alyssa Lewis said she would like to see more passenger checks for travel companies; The man who, according to authorities, killed her sister had no criminal record, but was under investigation by the FBI at the time of the shooting. “You always hear about drivers as they check them to protect the safety of passengers, but what about the safety of drivers? These companies also need to think about keeping them safe. ”

Updated April 6 11:34 AM ET: Adds a comment from a Lyft spokesman.

Updated April 6 at 11:56 am ET: Adds a comment from the DoorDash spokesperson

Updated April 6 at 12:59 pm ET: Adds additional commentary from Lyft to the case of Isabella Lewis

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