All eyes are on the presidential election, however the massive vote for Uber and Lyft this week was on Proposition 22 in California.
Proposition 22 exempts gig firms from AB5, a labour regulation handed in 2019 which prolonged worker protections to gig staff like Uber and Lyft drivers.
Voters in California handed the regulation with round 58% of ballots in favour after intense marketing campaign efforts from not simply the ridesharing giants but additionally firms like Instacart and DoorDash which spent upwards of $200 million on the efforts.
Uber and Lyft threatened to halt their service in California if the regulation was not handed—a reasonably large incentive for voters to help Proposition 22.
There are presently an estimated 325,000 Lyft drivers and 200,000 Uber drivers in California. If the businesses have been to cease their respective providers, lots of people can be out of labor throughout a time when unemployment figures are already devastatingly excessive.
“If the voters don’t say Yes on Proposition 22, rideshare drivers will be prevented from continuing to work as independent contractors, putting hundreds of thousands of Californians out of work and likely shutting down ridesharing throughout much of the state,” an Uber spokesperson warned final month.
An identical hardball tactic was utilized by Uber and Lyft in Austin, Texas after the town voted that the businesses should fingerprint their drivers for background checks. The businesses ceased their operations two days later however returned round a yr later after the regulation was reversed.
Many drivers and labour teams opposed Proposition 22, together with Gig Employees Rising which called the end result “a loss for our democracy that could open the door to other attempts by corps to write their own laws”.
Nevertheless it appears this might not be the top of the saga.
“We were outspent 20:1. We were outgunned. But we haven’t gotten this far because it was easy,” said Nicole Moore, a driver and organiser with Rideshare Drivers United. “We are fighters. And we punch above our weight. We stand strong when we stand together. We will fight – in the courts, in Sacramento and in the streets.”
Beneath Proposition 22, Uber and Lyft should give drivers some advantages—however they gained’t have the identical protections afforded to common staff.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote to the corporate’s drivers: “We’re looking forward to bringing you these new benefits – like healthcare contributions and occupational accident insurance – as soon as possible.”
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