This originally appeared in Black Star News.
The Haitian American Business Network, Haitian American Caucus and Haitian Americans United For Progress Wednesday announced that they have joined the New York Coalition for Independent Work to help elevate the voices and needs of New York’s independent app-based workers.
“The Haitian American community, like many other communities of color, began to rely on app-based services when there were no resources available to get through the hardships of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we have come to understand the value of independent work for vulnerable groups that are usually left in the dark when we face these kind of unprecedented crises,” said Jackson Rockingster, President and CEO of the Haitian American Business Network.
“Immigrant families, undocumented families, as well as first-generation immigrants, have faced enormous challenges throughout this public health emergency. App-based work has provided them flexibility and a steady income to support themselves,” said Samuel K. Darguin, Executive Director of Haitian American Caucus-Haiti. “We must all stand together to protect these kinds of opportunities for the immigrant community who are important members of our local economy.”
“The mission of our organization is to make sure Haitian Americans get the tools they need to succeed. We believe that app-based work is one of those tools, and we must work to guarantee these kinds of avenues of financial growth can remain open to our community,” said Elsie Saint Louis, Chief Executive Director of Haitian Americans United for Progress.
Thousands of New Yorkers supplement their incomes on multiple app-based platforms and app-based independent workers have overwhelmingly expressed a desire to remain independent. In a survey by The Rideshare Guy, drivers reported drivers wanting to remain independent by 4-to-1 margin.
In addition to the Haitian American Business Network, Haitian American Caucus and Haitian Americans United For Progress, the Long Island African-American Chamber of Commerce has also joined the Coalition to demonstrate their support for workers and the businesses that would have closed without them.
The Coalition includes community, faith-based, business and tech organizations and is committed to protecting the independence and flexibility of app-based workers while also finding solutions to improve their access to benefits and other workforce protections.