What Next

Best of 2021 | The Plight of the Delivery Worker

New York City depends on food carriers. So why are they struggling to survive?


Episode Notes

In the last few years, New York City’s delivery workers have become a key part of the food industry’s infrastructure, allowing restaurants to do business with customers who are too stressed to leave their desks, or too cautious to leave their homes. But a spate of violent attacks and bike thefts has shown that the people delivering your Grubhub and Seamless orders are deeply vulnerable. Why are these essential workers being exploited by apps and abandoned by the police, forced to band together just to get by?

Guest: Josh Dzieza, an investigations editor and feature writer at The Verge covering technology, business, and climate change.

We’re re-running some of our favorite episodes from the past year. This episode originally aired in September of 2021.

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About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.