Sick of GIG Greed #NOonProp22 #SickOfGigGreed
Sick of GIG Greed #NOonProp22 #SickofGigGreed

UBER AND LYFT MAKE US SICK

Eliminating Union Jobs

Gig companies have long undermined union industries and hurt unions workers.  Now, they’re trying to rewrite the rules to make it legal.

Race to the Bottom
Gig companies seek to drive down wages and undermine stable union jobs for drivers, logistics workers, and others. By pitting workers against each other, these companies think they can drag us all down.

Anti-union, Anti-worker
There’s a reason that gig companies like Uber and Lyft fight tooth and nail to prevent unions: their success has always been built on giving workers a lousy deal.

We Can Fight Back
The truth is all drivers – and all workers – have more in common with each other than with billionaires or CEOs. If we stand together and fight back, workers can keep Uber and Lyft from rigging the system against us.

Uber and Lyft Consider Franchise-Like Model in California

New York Times

Uber and Lyft, which are facing mounting pressure to classify their freelance drivers as full-time employees in California, are looking for another way.One option that both companies are seriously discussing is licensing their brands to operators of vehicle fleets in California, according to three people with knowledge of the plans. The change would resemble an independently operated franchise, allowing Uber and Lyft to keep an arms-length association with drivers so that the companies would not need to employ them and pay their benefits. The idea would effectively be a return to the days of how groups of black cars were run. Lyft has presented the plan to its board of directors, one person said. Uber, which already works with fleet operators in Germany and Spain, is also familiar with the business model. The companies have not committed to the franchise-like plans, said the people with knowledge of the discussions, who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/technology/uber-lyft-franchise-california.html

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Op-ed: Elizabeth Warren and lawyer who sued Uber say gig economy companies deny workers their rights

CNBC

The coronavirus pandemic has delivered a one-two punch to American workers – a public health emergency paired with a brutal economic crisis. Our country has lost millions of jobs and has already experienced some of the highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression. Essential workers are risking their safety on the job, often without adequate protections. Senate Republicans have made shielding employers from liability, while dismantling federal labor protections, their top priority for the next relief package. We need to respond to this crisis by putting power in the hands of workers – and a key part of that is ending worker misclassification. Gig economy companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, and Amazon misclassify workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees, enabling them to deny workers collective bargaining rights, health care, a minimum wage, overtime protections and access to unemployment insurance and paid sick leave guaranteed to employees under state and federal law.

 https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/17/elizabeth-warren-op-ed-uber-lyft-and-other-gig-economy-companies-misclassify-workers.html

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Uber and Lyft are threatening to suspend service in California if they have to classify drivers as employees — that tactic may backfire

CNBC

Uber and Lyft are running out of options in California. The companies have been fighting to continue classifying their drivers as independent workers, avoiding expenses like healthcare and unemployment insurance for hundreds of thousands of drivers in the state. Last year, they failed to block a bill aimed at classifying gig workers as employees from becoming state law, and then, as of Monday, failed to convince a court the law should not apply to them. Now, while pledging to appeal the court’s ruling on a preliminary injunction requiring them to reclassify drivers, Uber and Lyft are turning to voters as a last resort. On Wednesday, executives at both companies raised the stakes by threatening to suspend service in California if they can’t get their way. Both stated in court filings that outcome would be practically inevitable in order to restructure their operations if enforcement of the injunction isn’t further postponed.

 https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/14/uber-lyft-threaten-to-suspend-service-in-california-that-may-backfire.html

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Press Release 8/13/20: Uber, Lyft Shift from Threats of Extortion – Now Threatening to Put Drivers Out of Work if They Don’t Accept Lower Wages and Weaker Protections Under Prop. 22

Drivers Outraged by Uber, Lyft’s Cruel Threats to Rip Their Jobs
Away in Cynical Move to Pass a Special Exemption 

Sacramento, CA – On the heels of today’s hearing where a judge rejected app companies’ request to extend the deadline on an injunction requiring them to follow the law and classify their workers as employees, Uber and Lyft are intensifying cruel attacks on their drivers. This comes in the middle of a pandemic and mass unemployment; now using scare tactics to push their drivers to help pass Prop 22, a ballot measure the companies wrote and paid for that would give them a special exemption to deny their drivers legal wages, provide healthcare, paid sick time, safety equipment, and pay unemployment insurance.

Today the Yes on Prop 22 campaign repeated Uber CEO Dara Khosroshahi’s threat that the app giant will shut down California operations in a move to pressure their drivers to help pass a ballot measure written by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash that would strip drivers of critical benefits and protections that every other law-abiding employer in California is required to provide. 

“Uber and Lyft’s threat to close up shop, putting put tens of thousands of drivers out of work while app-company CEOs cash million-dollar paychecks, is absolutely reprehensible,” said Mike Robinson, Lyft driver and member of Mobile Workers Alliance. “The vast majority of drivers like me work more than 30 hours a week, so the app companies are leaving us without a job on top of denying us access to unemployment in the middle of an economic and public health crisis. This November, we’re taking a stand by voting NO on Prop 22 to stop these companies from continuing to put their profits over our livelihoods.” 

“App companies have spent years denying us the basic benefits and protections we need to stay healthy during a pandemic and earn a living wage. Now, they want to take our jobs away completely,” said Saori Okawa, an Uber driver from San Francisco and We Drive Progress member. “We are essential workers, putting our lives on the line every single day to be able to pay our bills and put food on the table for our families – while Uber and Lyft collect all the profits. Voting NO on Prop 22 will force app companies to stop playing games with our lives, and start following the law!”

Threatening to shut down business operations and tear jobs away from drivers is an old ploy Uber and Lyft have always used to try to get their way. The NO on Prop 22 campaign released a list today of other jurisdictions where Uber has threatened to leave, but never did:

  • New York – In 2015, Uber threatened to leave New York City over a dispute with the City Council, but never left.
  • Austin, TX – In 2016, Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the Austin, TX market if local voters failed to approve a measure it put on the ballot to loosen background check restrictions. The companies returned just six months later.
  • Chicago, IL – In 2016, Uber threatened to abandon the Chicago market to avoid having to comply with the city’s licensing regulations, and Lyft joined in. Neither company ever left.  
  • Phoenix SkyHarbor Airport – In February this year, Uber and Lyft threatened to stop picking up at Phoenix’s SkyHarbor airport if an increased airport pickup fee was allowed to stand. The fee went into effect on May 1 of this year. As of today, neither company has left the market.
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Press Release 8/13/20: Spoiler Alert: Uber and Lyft Have Always Used Shutdown Threats to Bully Their Way to Higher Profits at Drivers’ Expense

Sacramento, CA – After the Los Angeles Times reported on Uber and Lyft’s threat to shutdown California operations rather than comply with a judge’s orders to follow the law, the No on Prop 22 campaign released Uber’s record of bluffing its way out of fair treatment of drivers in jurisdictions across California.  Spoiler: Uber has returned to reap its profits from drivers’ exploitation time and again. 

Jurisdictions Where Uber has Threatened to Leave, But NEVER Did:

●      New York – In 2015, Uber threatened to leave New York City over a dispute with the City Council, but never left.

●      Austin, TX – In 2016, Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the Austin, TX market if local voters failed to approve a measure it put on the ballot to loosen background check restrictions. The companies returned just six months later.

●      Chicago, IL – In 2016, Uber threatened to abandon the Chicago market to avoid having to comply with the city’s licensing regulations, and Lyft joined in. Neither company ever left.  

●      Phoenix SkyHarbor Airport – In February this year, Uber and Lyft threatened to stop picking up at Phoenix’s SkyHarbor airport if an increased airport pickup fee was allowed to stand. The fee went into effect on May 1 of this year. As of today, neither company has left the market.  

“Using the livelihood of countless workers and their families as a political bargaining chip is a grim but all-too-familiar ploy for Uber and Lyft,” said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation. “Uber and Lyft are sitting on billions of dollars in cash on hand that they could use to follow the law immediately and reclassify their workers as employees. Instead, they’re going back to their tired playbook of threatening the very workers whose tireless efforts have turned app executives into billionaires. Time and again in other states we’ve seen these threats evaporate as soon as the companies get what they want. In California we stand for workers and what’s right: an equal playing field for all. Voting NO on Prop 22 will finally hold these companies accountable to doing what so many other profitable businesses in California do every day– following the damn law.”

Earlier this week, after being ordered by a judge to immediately comply with the law requiring Uber and Lyft to treat drivers as employees, Uber’s CEO went back to an all-too-familiar scheme. He ran to cable news, announcing the company’s plan to put hundreds of thousands of drivers out of work just to avoid having to pay them fair wages and benefits like healthcare, paid sick leave, and unemployment insurance.  The threat is a clear attempt to bully voters to support Prop 22, the initiative the companies wrote and paid to get on the November ballot to exempt ONLY APP companies from the very same law the judge ordered them to follow. 

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Uber CEO Promises Workers Scraps While Fighting Their Basic Rights

VICE

On Monday, Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi wrote an op-ed in the New York Times defending the company’s core business model—misclassifying app-based workers as independent contractors—and calling for new laws to preserve it. Khosrowshahi’s statements in the NYT’s op-ed section, which has allowed the most powerful people in the country to breezily air their bad and dangerous ideas, come as Uber’s ride hailing business is cratering during the pandemic. At the same time, the company is attempting to fend off legislation and lawsuits in California and Massachusetts that would reclassify Uber’s drivers as employees, not independent contractors. Saying that employees have “less flexibility,” while admitting that independent contractors (Uber’s workforce) have “almost no safety net,” Khosrowshahi wrote that Uber is ready and willing pay into a fund for contractors’ benefits—but only if forced to by a new and hypothetical law that would also force other companies to do the same. 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/wxqbem/uber-ceo-promises-workers-scraps-while-fighting-their-basic-rights

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Opinion: Why the gig economy is a scam

CNN

If you are like me, right now you’re relying heavily on the people who work for app-based delivery companies to keep you safer from the coronavirus. From groceries to package delivery; to the cheesesteak I just ate; to whatever I-just-didn’t-want-to-get-it-myself thing you had dropped off, items are brought to our doors by those who are making it possible for the rest of us to not fill the streets. And when I look out my window and see who’s hustling our groceries home, I am seeing mostly Black folks and people of color, which to me is a warning sign of “That job may not pay that well.” Last fall, way before we knew just how much more the economy would rely on the labor of gig workers, “United Shades of America” went to Austin, Texas, to learn about the fastest-growing category of new jobs in the country. Oops — I didn’t mean to say “jobs.” These are called gigs, so companies can get away with not offering the kind of worker protections and benefits that you expect from a job. Lots of us think the gig economy is a new idea, because tech bros told us it is. It’s like how that WeWork guy convinced us he invented office space. But gig work is as old as this country.

 https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/09/opinions/united-shades-of-america-gig-economy-kamau-bell/index.html

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Gig-Workers Across CA Protest in Advance of Judge’s Ruling

ValueWalk

Today at 11:30AM, approximately 50 app workers with Gig Workers Rising, Rideshare Drivers United & We Drive Progress hosted a People’s Hearing at the Oakland Uber Greenlight hub. Workers demanded that gig companies immediately begin obeying Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), granting workers the employee status and benefits they are legally entitled to under the new California state law. Workers also called on the companies to provide free PPE to their frontline workers and drop the $110 million Prop 22 ballot measure funded by Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. As a part of the statewide day of action, drivers with Mobile Workers Alliance and Rideshare Drivers United echoed the same demands at a protest at the Los Angeles Lyft hub. Thursday’s Oakland and LA based actions took place just hours before a key injunction hearing in the  California Attorney General’s lawsuit against Uber and Lyft. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and a coalition of city attorneys, will argue that Uber and Lyft must immediately comply with AB5. Uber and Lyft are expected to argue that they shouldn’t be required to follow the law until after voters weigh in on Proposition 22 in the November election. 

https://www.valuewalk.com/2020/08/gig-workers-protests-uber-lyft/

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Rideshare drivers stage protest while Uber and Lyft fight in court to keep them poor

Salon

On Thursday, the state of California urged a state judge to issue a preliminary injunction that would require Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees, which they have failed to do despite California legislators passing a law last year that would require them to do so in order to improve the livelihoods of gig workers. But as officials and lawyers argued in court over the new law, which would make drivers’ lives better yet reduce ridesharing corporations’ revenues, drivers in support of the injunction gathered in Los Angeles in Oakland for their own hearing, which they dubbed a “people’s hearing.” In Oakland, a group of drivers from the organizing groups Gig Workers Rising, Rideshare Drivers United and We Drive Progress held a rally titled to demand the employee status they are legally owed under state law. “We knew it was also important that we have a people’s hearing that involved having an indictment against Lyft and Uber for misclassifying its employees which have denied us basic labor rights, such as unemployment insurance, wages in overtime and protective equipment doing these pandemic times,” Cherri Murphy, social justice minister in the East Bay and leader at Gig Workers Rising and Drivers United, told Salon. Murphy added that driving for Lyft during the pandemic has been especially trying as an independent contractor. 

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/06/rideshare-drivers-stage-protest-while-uber-and-lyft-fight-in-court-to-keep-them-poor/

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Uber drivers to launch legal bid to uncover app’s algorithm

The Guardian (UK)

Minicab drivers will launch a legal bid to uncover secret computer algorithms used by Uber to manage their work in a test case that could increase transparency for millions of gig economy workers across Europe. Two UK drivers are demanding to see the huge amounts of data the ride-sharing company collects on them and how this is used to exert management control, including through automated decision-making that invisibly shapes their jobs. The case is being brought on Monday by the UK-based App Drivers and Couriers Union in the district court in Amsterdam, where the international headquarters of the $56bn (£44.5bn) ride-hailing firm is located. The union said transparency was essential in checking if Uber was exercising discrimination or unequal treatment between drivers. It will also allow drivers to organise and build collective bargaining power over terms of work and pay in a way that is currently impossible. 

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jul/20/uber-drivers-to-launch-legal-bid-to-uncover-apps-algorithm

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