Who We Are

The Illinois Coalition for Independent Work (ICIW) is working to preserve flexibility and independence for app-based workers and provide the benefits and protections all workers deserve.

In Illinois, independent workers are parents, teachers, students, retirees, and others who want to work on their own terms. Whether they are turning to app-based platforms to provide extra spending money, or as an earning opportunity between jobs in an economic downturn, independent workers benefit from being able to call their own shots and set their own schedules on the job. App-based workers should not have to choose between their personal lives and their jobs. We are advocating for a new approach to app-based work where workers keep their flexibility and independence, while also receiving new benefits.

A new ALG Research poll shows overwhelming support by Illinois drivers and registered Illinois voters for a new approach that would allow drivers to remain independent contractors while receiving benefits, including access to a “portable benefits fund,” which would be paid into by app-based delivery companies and would allow drivers to put that benefit money toward health care, retirement, paid leave, or earnings replacement.

In fact, 64% of drivers support the proposed new approach that combines independence and flexibility, while Black and Latino voters are particularly supportive of the new approach, with 71% and 81% respectively supporting the new approach.

Other data shows that median earnings for Chicago drivers are up to $35/hr before tips. With some policymakers in Chicago proposing surge caps or regulatory and wage changes for drivers that could limit their flexibility and independence, it’s imperative we elevate drivers’ voices and stories to ensure their livelihoods are protected.

These independent workers deserve access to benefits and protections that those in other sectors of the economy are able to receive. Illinois has an opportunity to advocate for a different path, one that protects independence while also providing benefits to app-based workers.

Today, median earnings for drivers in Chicago are up to $35/hr,
and that’s before tips. 

Adding additional wage and app usage requirements could lead to a loss of earning opportunities and flexibility as has been seen elsewhere, meaning drivers would lose control over when and where they could earn

Adding additional wage and app usage requirements could lead to a loss of earning opportunities and flexibility as has been seen elsewhere, meaning drivers would lose control over when and where they could earn

When New York imposed an ordinance, opportunities to drive were limited. Lyft alone was forced to cut 10,000 drivers from its platform, effectively reducing earnings for drivers.

These restrictions also reduced by 70% the number of female drivers’ on the platform as they eliminated the flexibility these drivers needed.

We simply cannot have this happen in Chicago, and we must make sure our driver’s voices are <br>heard and amplified.

Drivers Are Satisfied with Flexible Hours and Their Earnings

49%

of drivers work less than 9 hours per week

86%

of drivers don’t rely on driving as their primary income

75%

of drivers are satisfied with their job and financial situation

97%

of drivers have health insurance

We Are Proud To Have the Support of Our Partners

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Share Your Voice

We want to help amplify independent worker voices so policymakers hear from you directly. Join our coalition if you want to protect your independence and access benefits. There are lots of different ways to support the effort. The important part is having your voice heard.

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Worker Impact

Flexibility and independence are critically important to independent workers like rideshare and delivery drivers who work around family needs, make extra money between jobs or school, or supplement other sources of income. Research shows that drivers nationally, by a 4-to-1 ratio, want to remain independent, according to an independent poll from the Rideshare Guy.
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Consumer & Community Impact

App-based platforms have provided access to transportation that individuals and small businesses have come to rely on – particularly in the pandemic. This includes those who can’t leave their homes and rely on meal and grocery delivery, essential workers that need to move around their cities without a car, and more.

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