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.
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.
Lawsuits and labor backlash: Prop. 22’s cutthroat final days
Gig companies embark on a last-minute spending blitz after a court rules that drivers should be paid as employees and labor groups question campaign tactics.
With lawsuits and campaign misconduct allegations flying a week before the Nov. 3 election, it’s anything but a smooth home stretch for California’s $220 million battle over the future of gig work, Proposition 22.
Business-versus-labor battles over taxes, minimum wage and other regulations are already a staple of California’s ballot measure system, which allows voters to create and amend laws in a form of direct democracy that often breeds confusion. But Prop. 22 — a business-backed measure to exempt gig companies from state labor law AB 5and change how contract drivers get paid — has shattered spending records and unleashed new forms of digital campaign ads that tech companies are uniquely positioned to deliver to millions of workers and customers.
Gig Work on the Ballot in California
In September of 2019, the California state legislature passed Assembly Bill 5. Informally known as the “gig-economy bill,” A.B. 5 aimed to address the challenges faced by people who drive for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and other similar companies; so-called gig workers, who are classified as independent contractors, do not receive fundamental worker protections, such as guaranteed minimum wage or paid sick days, no matter how much they drive. “We will not in good conscience allow free-riding businesses to continue to pass their own business costs on to taxpayers and workers,” the bill’s author, the assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, said, following its passage. Six weeks later, Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash launched a campaign to combat the bill. A spokesperson for the effort told the Los Angeles Times, “We’re going to spend what it takes to win.”
Prop 22 is Bad for Black Workers
National Employment Law Project
When the pandemic forced Cherri Murphy to stop driving for Lyft, she applied for unemployment benefits like millions of other workers. But because Lyft has refused to pay into California’s unemployment insurance fund, insisting that its workers are independent contractors rather than employees, Cherri received zero dollars in unemployment benefits.
By day, Ms. Murphy is a member of Gig Workers Rising and a volunteer social justice minister who helps people connect their faith to the fight for racial justice. By night, she is a Black working woman in America, completing more than 12,000 Lyft rides, forced to play by rules designed for her — and millions of Black workers — to lose.
Gig Worker Groups Release Solidarity Letter Opposing Proposition 22
Proposition 22, supported by companies such as Uber and Lyft, would exempt the gig economy from reclassifying workers as employees.
On Wednesday, ride-hail driver and advocate groups from 6 major cities across the United States released a statement of solidarity reiterating their opposition to a California ballot initiative proposed by gig companies.
Proposition 22, as the initiative is known, is a ballot measure backed by app-based gig companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Instacart, and seeks to exempt the companies from reclassifying their drivers as employees.
Uber, Lyft paid $85K to firm of NAACP leader who backs their ballot measure
Labor rights groups say California’s Proposition 22, which could decide the fate of gig work, will hurt communities of color.
Uber and Lyft have been refining their nearly $200 million effort to win a ballot measure campaign designed to keep gig workers classified as independent contractors in California. They’ve sent out mailers, emails, text messages and press releases and taken out ads. One of the many themes they’ve hit on is that “communities of color support Prop 22.”