Uber CEO says Massachusetts gig economy ballot measure is ‘right answer’ – TechCrunch

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Wednesday voiced support for a ballot initiative in Massachusetts that keep gig economy workers classified as independent contractors, fulfilling a promise he made almost a year ago to push through laws that preserve your business model.

“In the state of Massachusetts, we believe the correct answer is our IC + model, which is an independent contractor with benefits,” Khosrowshahi said during the earnings call with investors. “Our drivers love it. Proposition 22 has proven to be incredibly popular with California drivers. “

His comments come a day after a coalition of app-based on-demand transportation and delivery companies, including Uber, Doordash, Lyft, and Instacart, filed a petition for the ballot initiative that would rank transportation and delivery based on In applications. workers as independent contractors and provide them with benefits like health care stipends for drivers who work at least 15 hours a week. The coalition claimed the provision would allow drivers to earn about $ 18 per hour in 2023 before tips. The ballot measure, if legally approved and receives sufficient signatures, would be included in the November 2022 elections.

Proposition 22 passed in California in November of last year. a ballot measure that kept concert workers in the state classified as independent contractors. It also exempts gig companies like Uber from AB-5, the bill that authorizes workers to self-classify as employees with customary job protections that do not apply to independent contractors, such as minimum wage, sick leave, unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits. .

Concert companies, largely unprofitable, spent $ 205 million on marketing for this ballot measure and made no secret of plans to do the same in other states. Which brings us back to Massachusetts.

Khosrowshahi said during the earnings call that the vast majority of drivers prefer the IC + model to full-time employment. The Coalition for the Protection of Workers’ Rights disagreed, arguing that the ballot language has gaps that would create a sub-minimum wage for app-based workers and few would qualify for the promised healthcare support. He also noted that the measure would remove protections against discrimination, remove workers’ compensation rules, and allow companies to cheat the state’s unemployment system of hundreds of millions.

“Uber has been using independence as a red herring for years,” Shona Clarkson, an organizer for Gig Workers Rising, told TechCrunch. “We know that drivers don’t really have independence while driving for Uber. There is no independence in working more than 70 hours a week, not being able to set your own rates, not being able to see where a trip is going, and not having real control at work. The benefits promised under Proposition 22 were a sham that has not materialized. As a network of more than 10,000 workers in the state of California, we have not seen Uber drivers access significant benefits since the implementation of Proposition 22. “

Khosrowshahi He said Californians voted for Proposition 22 because they had the support of drivers, and he sees no reason why Massachusetts it should be different.

“We absolutely prefer a legislative outcome in Massachusetts, but if we can’t get there, we will take it to a vote, and based on what happened in California, we are very confident,” he said.


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