Uber CEO: Massachusetts’s gig economy vote measure The ‘right’ answer

Uber CEO Dara Kosrowshahi supported Wednesday’s Massachusetts ballot initiative that would allow gig economy workers to be classified as independent contractors. This fulfills a promise that he made almost a year ago, which aims at preserving Uber’s business model. __S.2__

Khosrowshahi stated that the right solution in Massachusetts is the IC+ model. This is an independent contractor with benefits. “Our drivers love it. California driver .”

He made these comments one day after an alliance of on-demand ride-hailing companies and app-based ride hailing firms, including Uber, Doordash and Lyft, submitted a petition to the ballot initiative. The petition would have classified app-based delivery and ride-hail workers as independent contractors, and provided them with benefits like healthcare stipends and benefits for drivers who drive at least 15 hours per week. According to the coalition, drivers would be able to make about $18 an hour without tips in the new provision. If the ballot measure passes legal hurdles and gets enough signatures it will be part of November 2022’s election. __S.9__

Proposition 22 passed in California in November last year, a ballot measure that kept gig workers in the state classified as independent contractors. It exempts Uber and other gig businesses from AB-5. This bill allows gig workers to be self-classified as workers with the same labor protections available to all employees, but not independent contractors like sick leave or workers’ compensation.

The majority of Gig businesses, who have not yet become financially successful, spent $205 millions on marketing to support this initiative. They also made it clear that they had plans to continue the campaign in other states. This brings us to Massachusetts.

Khosrowshahi stated during earnings calls that drivers would prefer full-time work to the IC+ model. The Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights disagreed, arguing that the ballot language has loopholes that would create a sub-minimum wage for app-based workers and that few would qualify for the healthcare support promised. The Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights also pointed out that this measure would eliminate anti-discrimination rules, remove workers’ compensation rules, and allow companies to cheat hundreds of millions of taxpayers.

Shona Clarkson of Gig Workers Rising told TechCrunch that Uber has used independence for many years. We know Uber drivers don’t have autonomy while they drive for Uber. It is not possible to be independent while driving for Uber. Prop 22 promised benefits that were not real and have yet to materialize. We haven’t seen Uber drivers in California since Prop 22 span>.

Khosrowshahi said Californians voted in favor of Prop 22 because they had driver support, and he sees no reason why Massachusetts should be any different.

He stated that while we would prefer to see a Massachusetts legislative result, if it is not possible, we will put the matter up for a vote. Based on California’s experience, we are quite certain.

Publiated at Wednesday, 4 Aug 2021 23.28:43 +0000

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