Why Prop 22 is bad news for workers
The economic hardships as a result of COVID-19 have shown just how important government benefits can be for working people. Unemployment Insurance when one loses their job, or State Disability payments when someone is ill and can't work, have been lifesavers for millions of Californians.
In California we can also get SDI if we need to take care of a loved one who is ill and need to quit our jobs to do so. These benefits are for employees.
The multibillion-dollar corporations comprised of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and the like are spending over $180 million to make sure that these lifesaving protections do not cover their drivers. They wish to roll back the protections provided for such workers in recently enacted Assembly Bill 5.
Proposition 22 would take away these benefits and once again label drivers as independent contractors, who will likely end up homeless and on welfare if they were to become sick and unable to work. Let Uber and Lyft take corporate responsibility for their drivers and not shift the expenses to the taxpayer.
Vote NO on Prop 22.
Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other gig economy employers are waging the most expensive ballot initiative campaign in U.S. history so they can continue to exploit their drivers.
They’ve accumulated over $180 million to flood the airwaves with countless ads hoping they can convince voters to allow them to continue to misclassify their drivers as independent contractors and deny them legally-required benefits that come with employment.
Under current law enacted earlier this year through AB 5, drivers should be classified as employees and gig employers should be paying for unemployment insurance, a minimum wage, paid sick leave and workers’ compensation.
Rather than directing the millions of dollars toward providing drivers with a living wage and employment protections, they’ve instead decided to try and create a new employment classification for their drivers and continue their exploitative business model.
For the sake of drivers and their families, we hope voters say “no.”
Proposition 22 is a smokescreen perpetrated by corporate gig economy employers who want to create a new classification of employment so they don’t have to pay their drivers a living wage, don’t have to pay into Social Security, and don’t have to provide for unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance.
The proposition claims to provide new benefits for employees such as an hourly wage up to 120% of the local or state minimum wage, but that rate is only guaranteed when a customer is in the car and does nothing for the hours of time spent going to pick up the rider. An analysis by the UC Berkeley Labor Center found multiple loopholes in the proposed initiative that the companies could exploit and estimated actual pay would be closer to $5.64 per hour.
Does anyone really believe Uber and Lyft would pay roughly $45 million apiece to provide workers with more benefits? Their big bet is only to benefit themselves. Hopefully voters see through the smoke and mirrors and vote “no.”