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Uber and Lyft Plan To Take Fight Against AB 5 To The Voters

Aug 30, 2019

Uber and Lyft drivers in a number of U.S. cities are striking on Wednesday, calling for higher wages and better working conditions as Uber prepares to go public on Friday. Its valuation may be as high as $91 billion.

Uber and Lyft, along with other companies at the center of the gig economy, are preparing to spend their own money on ballot measures to protect their interests; Credit: Richard Vogel/AP

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Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are planning to spend 60 million dollars to keep their drivers classified as independent contractors.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the tech giants are working to fight Assembly Bill 5, written by Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, that would turn gig-drivers into employees. There’s only about two weeks left in the legislative session, so tech companies are trying to make deals with labor officials and legislators to find an alternate description for drivers that would provide some employee protections and minimum pay.

If they can’t agree to revise the bill, Uber and Lyft, as well as food delivery service DoorDash, are planning to use a 90 million dollar fund to put the issue on the November 2020 ballot. If you work for Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash, we want to hear from you. Call 866-893-5722.

***We reached out to Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) who authored AB 5 and also Governor Gavin Newsom. They both cannot join us today****

We reached out to Uber, which declined our interview request but sent this statement:

“Right now, California lawmakers and labor leaders have a historic opportunity to dramatically improve the quality and security of independent work, strengthen the 21st-century labor movement, and protect our innovation economy by acting on the proposal Uber has proudly set forth: a guaranteed minimum earnings standard that would provide stability for drivers while allowing them the flexibility to earn more and work when, where and for whom they choose; access to robust portable benefits like sick leave and injury protection; and — for the first time in the modern history of the labor movement — real sectoral bargaining rights for drivers, giving them a voice in the decisions that affect their livelihoods. While we continue to advocate for this progressive framework, circumstances are forcing us to plan for legislative inaction by laying the groundwork for this initiative.”

Guests:

Carolyn Said, business and technology reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, she covers the gig economy and tech, she tweets at @CSaid

Steve Smith, communications director, California Labor Federation, an association of some 1,200 unions in the state based in Oakland

Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs & communications for the Western States Trucking Association (WSTA)

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.

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