As one of many tens of 1000’s of California staff who drive a automobile for Uber or Lyft, I’ve by no means obtained primary employee advantages and protections.
By Mekela Edwards, Particular to CalMatters
Mekela Edwards is a rideshare driver for Uber from Oakland, [email protected]
Among the many many issues 2020 might be identified for in California, it would go down because the yr when somebody tried to place an asterisk subsequent to Labor Day.
It will look one thing like this:
Labor Day* – A nationwide vacation that honors the contributions of American staff and pays tribute to the struggles that led to historic protections in opposition to office exploitation, together with the minimal wage, the 8-hour workday and compensation for accidents suffered whereas on the job.
* Doesn’t apply to those that work for app-based transportation and supply corporations corresponding to Uber, Lyft and DoorDash.
As one of many tens of 1000’s of California staff who drive a automobile for Uber or Lyft, I’ve by no means obtained any of these primary employee advantages and protections. However we had each motive to consider that Labor Day 2020 would ultimately be a day we may have a good time.
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In any case, in 2018 the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that corporations should deal with staff who carry out their core capabilities as workers. Then in 2019, the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom codified that call.
However eight months into 2020, these corporations are nonetheless refusing to observe the regulation. As an alternative, they wrote a poll initiative to attempt to exempt themselves – and solely themselves – from the office legal guidelines that apply to all different companies.
As the autumn marketing campaign season unofficially kicks off, these corporations have ponied up a mixed $110 million for the trouble to cross Proposition 22.
On today to honor staff, we must always replicate upon what they’re attempting to do.
They’re searching for to completely enshrine their labor power as second-class staff. For them, all basic labor requirements that American staff get pleasure from wouldn’t apply – a minimal wage, the 40-hour work week, incapacity and medical protection for accidents sustained on the job, unemployment insurance coverage, entry to security gear and extra.
In the event that they succeed, it would open the door to rolling again a century of progress in establishing primary office rights and advantages.
The misleading recreation plan to cross Prop. 22 is to advertise as one thing that will profit drivers. However take a look at the tremendous print.
For example, they are saying that beneath Prop. 22 drivers could be paid no less than 120% of the minimal wage. However the tremendous print says the businesses would pay just for “engaged time,” outlined because the time spent selecting up and delivering passengers. Uber and Lyft would pay nothing for time spent fueling automobiles or ready for the subsequent task. Research present that such unpaid time accounts for a 3rd or extra of a driver’s time when she is out on the highway.
Throughout this pandemic, many drivers are taking additional steps to make sure their clients’ security. That features disinfecting the automobile after each trip. For this time, too, Uber and Lyft would pay their drivers nothing.
The underside line is that they’re providing a sub-minimum wage.
There are different provisions as nicely that don’t meet as much as the requirements of safety the regulation offers to all different staff.
Uber and Lyft say most of their drivers work only some hours every week as a part-time gig.
A latest study by UC Santa Cruz, nevertheless, reveals that the majority of the driving is being executed by full-time staff. They surveyed drivers who truly responded to their random requests for service and located that 72% have been working greater than 30 hours every week, half have been working greater than 40 hours and a 3rd have been working greater than 50 hours.
Like me, they’re actual staff, doing actual jobs, doing what they will to pay their hire and assist their households.
It’s previous time for these corporations to acknowledge that and to start out obeying the regulation.
Don’t let Uber and Lyft stain the dignity of labor by placing an asterisk subsequent to Labor Day. Vote No on Prop. 22.
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