Posts tagged Uber

    Opinion: It Turns Out Anti-Gig Economy Law AB 5 Was Tarnished by ‘Backroom Dealing’

    March 30, 2023 // The court cited Gonzalez’s own damning tweets, interviews, statements and a Washington Post op-ed, even suggesting that AB 5 is rooted in “corruption, pure spite, and naked favoritism.” Indeed, the judges’ line of questioning at the July 13, 2022, hearing signaled their dismay at Gonzalez’s “shocking statements,” noting that Uber was the focus of her attention. The plaintiffs’ complaint included a list of disparaging remarks by Gonzalez, such as calling Uber’s chief legal counsel “full of shit” on Sept. 18, 2019 — the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 5 into law.

    California: Court ruling opens door to gig driver unionization bill, union says

    March 28, 2023 // Last Monday, a California appeals court ruled that Proposition 22 — a 2020 ballot measure that allowed Uber, Lyft, and other platforms to classify their workers as independent contractors rather than employees — was largely constitutional, reversing much of a lower court ruling. But the court found that one part of the proposition wasn’t valid. It’s a part that defined legislation on certain subjects, including unionization for app-based drivers, as amendments to the proposition. And amendments, the proposition declares, need to pass by a seven-eights majority vote of the Legislature. That super, super, super-duper majority is a steep climb.

    A Win For California’s App-Based Drivers

    March 17, 2023 // In an ironic twist, California Attorney General Rob Bonta argued in favor of Prop. 22 to the Court of Appeals even though he voted for AB5 when he was an assemblyman in the California state legislature and was personally opposed to Prop. 22. The state correctly asserted that the will of the voters should prevail, and the Court of Appeals agreed. Former assemblywoman and author of AB5 cried foul about Monday’s ruling, claiming the “system is broken” and that the appeals court “chose to stand with powerful corporations over working people, allowing companies to buy their way out of our state’s labor laws.” Gonzalez, who now heads the California Labor Federation representing 1,200 unions in the state, has no such concerns about the millions of independent contractors and small businesses adversely affected by her disastrous law. From transcribers and translators to sign-language interpreters, videographers, wedding planners, regional theaters, pharmacists, the independent film industry, and more, AB5 has wielded a wrecking ball to the independent workforce in California, particularly impacting female entrepreneurs who have been disproportionately harmed by the law.

    California Court Rebukes War on Workers

    March 16, 2023 // This obviously poses an existential threat to emerging app-based companies that rely on a contractor model, but it also posed an entirely predictable threat to many traditional professions where workers eschew the 9–5 cubicle or factory floor work model. When the Legislature codified Dynamex via Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect in January 2020, it exempted many industries — primarily those with the most influential lobbies. Nevertheless, economic destruction ensued. Companies eliminated jobs rather than hire people as salaried employees. Publications — including Vox, which ran a piece championing AB 5 — laid off its California stringers. Musical groups that relied on gig workers had to shutter their operations. All types of freelance workers — from photographers to sign-language interpreters to rabbis — suddenly found themselves in a pickle. The same Gov. Gavin Newsom who used his vast executive powers to suspend laws during the COVID pandemic refused to suspend AB 5, even as people who were forced to stay at home lost their stay-at-home freelance opportunities. Some Californians embraced the workaround of starting an LLC, but that imposed new costs on workers who already were struggling. Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles

    California: Uber, Lyft Can Treat Drivers as Contractors, Court Rules (1)

    March 15, 2023 // “We agree that Proposition 22 does not intrude on the Legislature’s workers’ compensation authority or violate the single-subject rule, but we conclude that the initiative’s definition of what constitutes an amendment violates separation of powers principles,” the three-judge panel held. The court found the initiative violates the separation of powers principles by limiting lawmakers’ ability to enact amendments such as allowing gig workers to unionize. It severed that portion of the initiative and will “allow the rest of Proposition 22 to remain in effect, as the voters indicated they wished,” in a split victory for gig companies. The Protect App-Based Drivers and Services coalition that backed the initiative called the ruling “a historic victory for the nearly 1.4 million drivers who rely on the independence and flexibility of app-based work to earn income, and for the integrity of California’s initiative system.”

    You may have heard of the ‘union boom.’ The numbers tell a different story

    March 2, 2023 // Headline writers began declaring things like, "Employees everywhere are organizing" and that the United States was seeing a "union boom." In September, the White House asserted "Organized labor appears to be having a moment." However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its union data for 2022. And their data shows that — far from a resurgence — the share of American workers in a union has continued to decline. Last year, the union membership rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 10.1% — the lowest on record. This was the second year in a row that the union rate fell. Only one in ten American workers is now in a union, down from nearly one in three workers during the heyday of unions back in the 1950s.

    New York Taxi union to strike against Uber and Lyft at LaGuardia airport on Sunday: report

    February 24, 2023 // Anyone traveling into LaGuardia International Airport in Queens, New York and planning to take an Uber or Lyft may want to reconsider their plans, as a union representing all rideshare and Taxi drivers plans to go on strike at the hub for 12 hours on Sunday. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which boasts a membership of 25,000 professional drivers, is planning to go on strike at LaGuardia airport on Feb. 26 by refusing to pick up Uber and Lyft rides between 12 p.m. and 12 a.m.

    Union warns: One week to Uber, Lyft strike at LaGuardia Airport

    February 21, 2023 // The group says it represents 21,000 yellow cab, green car, black car, livery and app-dispatched drivers. Drivers were expecting per-minute increases of 7.8%, originally approved by the Taxi and Limousine Commission in November, and set to go into effect Dec. 19. But a judge issued a temporary restraining order after Uber sued the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

    Biden Wants To Restrict Work and Flexibility for Freelancers

    February 20, 2023 // Beyond these misunderstandings, there is a key question that PRO Act proponents have failed to directly answer: Over a dozen surveys—including the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Contingent Worker Supplement—have found that a majority of independent contractors would prefer their current arrangements over an employment arrangement. Workers cite dependent care obligations, personal circumstances, or a strong preference for job flexibility (over job stability) as the primary reasons. Beyond surveys, in a recent study published by the Journal of Political Economy, economists estimated that UberX drivers would require almost twice as much pay to accept the inflexibility that comes from adopting a taxi-style schedule. And for the top 10 percent of DoorDash drivers, losing flexibility is equivalent to a 15 percent pay cut. Sens. Mark Warner (D–Va.), Todd Young (R–Ind.), and Rep. Suzan DelBene (D–Wash.)

    How To Empower Millions of Independent Workers

    January 3, 2023 // Given millions of Americans' clear preference for independent work, and given the economic benefits of these arrangements, state and federal legislators should reduce the regulatory and tax burdens on both independent workers and gig platforms.