Uber’s Scare Tactics Have Made Vulnerable Gig Workers Worry Things Will Get Worse After Election Day
In July 2019, LaDonna Hamilton was driving four Uber passengers on a highway in Los Angeles when she was rear-ended. Her car was trapped between the truck that hit her and another one in front.
While Uber’s insurance covered the accident and her health insurance covered her hospital bills, Hamilton’s car was totaled. Her injuries required surgery, leaving her without any income for months while she recovered. “All that time I took off, I didn’t get compensation,” she said. “I had to borrow money from friends and family to live.”
Uber and Lyft paid $400K to firm conducting ‘independent studies’ on Proposition 22
On Election Day, California voters will decide on Proposition 22, a contentious ballot measure that decides the fate of the state’s gig workers. As the vote approaches, both sides are making their closing arguments.
The Yes side, backed by companies like Uber and Lyft, is pushing for workers to be classified as independent contractors, while the No side is arguing workers should be employees. One of the main points of contention is whether the initiative will help or hurt gig workers. That’s where a barrage of studies come in.
Prop 22 Is an Assault on the Rights and Dignity of Uber, Lyft, Postmates Workers
If you’re a resident of California, a person who follows workers’ rights issues, or both, you’ve probably heard talk about Proposition 22, a state ballot measure that’s kicked up quite a ruckus over the past few months. Prop 22 concerns the workers at app-based companies who provide transportation and delivery services — think drivers and delivery workers for Uber and Postmates. The goal of Prop 22 is to carve out a special exemption from the state’s AB5 law, which was intended to protect independent contractors from misclassification, and it would extend some half-baked protections and benefits to app-based drivers who would be classified as “independent contractors”; however, these workers would ultimately come away with fewer rights and less flexibility than if they were full-time employees, which many argue is how they should be classified in the first place.
The Future of Decent Work Depends on the Failure of Prop 22
If the Uber-backed ballot initiative passes, it may lay the groundwork for unrest not seen since the onset of the Industrial Revolution
Ina moment absolutely overstuffed with events that all bear the weight of historic significance — the hard-right lurch of the Supreme Court, an election the president appears destined to lose and then contest, another surge in the deadly pandemic — it’s easy for California’s Prop 22 to get lost in the shuffle. But it could be as momentous as any of that. Its passage would mark a definitive milestone in the rise of algorithm-orchestrated jobs, and deliver a serious and possibly permanent blow to the future of decent work, not unlike the one dealt to workers at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The racist business model behind Uber and Lyft
The apps feed a false promise of stability to immigrants and people of color. Instead, drivers receive low pay and no benefits
Uber and Lyft want you to know they aren’t racist. It’s why Uber put up billboards all over the west coast saying “If you tolerate racism, delete Uber.” It’s why Lyft is running ads featuring Maya Angelou’s “Lift up your eyes” poem over clips of Black passengers enjoying their service. It’s all to say – “We get it. We’re woke. We think Black Lives Matter just like you do. We’re with you in the struggle.”
OK, Uber and Lyft. You want a seat at the anti-racism table? Let’s talk about race.
Gig companies break $200M barrier in California ballot fight
California officially has its first $200 million ballot campaign, courtesy of the homegrown tech industry.
Proposition 22 always figured to be an enormously expensive fight. Five gig economy firms invested $110 million just at the outset of their effort to exempt themselves from a new state law that could force them to treat app-summoned workers as employees rather than contractors.
Close to Home: Prop 22 undermines rights for ‘gig’ drivers
The Press Democrat
App-based Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates are sponsoring Proposition 22, spending a record-shattering $185 million to write their own rules.
The Press Democrat recommends a yes vote on Proposition 22, claiming that public interests are best served by preserving flexible hours, variable schedules and extra income earned by independent contractors in the “gig economy.”
The labor movement urges voters to reject Proposition 22.
Would Prop. 22 actually compel gig apps to pay their workers more? Don’t count on it.
GigCompare is running the numbers, and when applying the language of Prop. 22 to prior pay statements, the “Earnings Guarantee” appears to fall short of the status quo for the majority of gig workers.
GigCompare.com launched in early August with the mission of helping gig workers across the United States better understand how they are being paid. Our initial focus has been on hourly earnings estimates, using a calculator powered by actual pay statements. Over time, we plan to provide more insights into how pay differs between apps, how it changes over time, and how differences in local markets can impact earnings. We believe that easier access to this information will help workers make more informed decisions and decrease the data disparity between them and the apps they power.
No a la Proposición 22
Respecto a la Proposición 22, yo reconozco la injusticia y la explotación laboral cuando la veo. Este año está en la boleta de California.
Yo crecí en el Valle de San Joaquín, donde fui testigo de la injusticia racial en contra de los latinos, y la explotación de los trabajadores del campo – muchos de los cuales también eran latinos y otra gente de color. La gran parte de mi carrera la he dedicado a luchar por los derechos de los inmigrantes de bajos recursos y de la gente trabajadora.
Hoy la Proposición 22 presenta una amenaza a las leyes laborales de California.
If Passed, Proposition 22 Will Be Bad for Drivers, Air Quality and Climate
Union of Concerned Scientists
Science and environmental groups in California are advocating against Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that would exempt ride-hailing companies from a California Supreme Court ruling that classified app drivers as employees, rather than contractors. If voters reject the proposition, it will ensure gig workers are paid a living wage and receive the benefits and security of employment.