The City’s Toughest and Most Demanding Job on Two Wheels
2017 - ongoing
Deliverymen have become the driving force of many businesses in New York city. As a recent immigrant, I see parallels between myself rushing to deliver results on a daily basis and a delivery man hustling through the city's busy streets in heat, cold, snow and cold to deliver goods to the customers. Often looked down upon, poorly geared, afraid of authorities, afraid of immigration officers, police, employers, customers, such huge cluster of delivery workers yet remain unformed and voiceless as a social group. Seeing these terrible working conditions of delivery men made me think of what needs to be done to draw attention and start a conversation about the problem.
The idea is to help this group find identity symbols. Flags, logos, clothing item have been widely used across time and cultures to unify social groups, increase psychological realness, make groups to seem more threatening and effective to others. Group members strategically emphasize symbols when they want their group to appear unified and intimidating. The bikes handlebars covered in many layers of plastic substituting the proper safety mittens drew my attention first. I thought that this could be one of the elements to build the delivery men’s identity upon. Such mittens will be branded with the unifying logo and left at delivery men’s bicycles with the insert - the printed Workers’ Bill of Rights that are applicable to workers, including the undocumented ones. The documentation of this process along with the proposal for collaboration will be discussed with the relevant unions (Restaurant Opportunities Center).
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