The fight over gig worker status is going national

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Buber lift scored a big victory in california with proposition. Twenty two which shared that its drivers will remain classified as independent contractors taking the national. But is that a good thing. Roger chang and this is your daily charge as derek carr. Who covers the gig. Economy copies for cnn has been all over the story for the last year welcomed their hi. How's it going good. Well thanks for joining us so to properly set the scene for a listeners. Because everyone is date on california politics. Give us a quick refresher of what Twenty two is and what is going to do. Now that it's become law in california right so prop twenty. Two is a ballot measure that was authored and sponsored by five gig. Economy companies uber left. Door dash instacart postmates and it was a response to a law that california passed a year ago that would essentially make gig workers employees and so rather than comply with that law. The companies put forward the notion basically sidesteps that law would do uber lift and these other gay copies say is their argument for why they should be exempt from that earlier. California law. yeah. There's a bunch of reasons that they give One of them is that they can apply to them that their technology companies the on. They're not massive employers. A another one is they say their drivers in the gig. Workers don't wanna be employees so they're advocating on behalf of those people Another reason is that this making their drivers. Employees could really adversely affect the company's financial prospects. Which currently aren't good. Doordash uber lift aren't profitable and instacart has shown some profitability. But it's it's minimal you. What are the drivers. Say about this. You know it's all over the map and it's actually. It's pretty hard to get a clear answer. There hasn't been any Widespread unbiased polling of drivers so most of the surveys polls that we get had been funded by the companies and those that are independent. Don't tend to be scientifically based like they don't have the the methodology that you need a scientific poll. So you know. The driver's that wanted to be employees are very vocal. They're the ones who helped get the california law passed. They hold protests they have all sorts of networks on social media and a a strong presence on twitter and they really the driving force behind the the california law but uber left. Were very savvy in their messaging during the campaign put out all sorts of paid for studies and advertising by divers saying that they really don't wanna be pleased so as a common person. It's really hard to get a gauge. On what the answer is to that question. Yeah i've got a lot of friends and family who who live in california from there to talk to them about it just to get the pulse and most of them ended up voting for up to a lot of it was because they thought that was the that was the decision to make when you want to support drivers so the messaging alice clear. The these companies spent a fortune on the messaging for this effective because folk clearly thought they were helping drivers out when they were voting for To let's talk about your story. And the fact that even before the elections last november months before these companies were gearing up for a campaign to basically take this national. What what did you find right so this this kind of flew under the radar for quite a while because so much. Attention has been focused on california and california's kind of been seen as the template are like bellwether. What will happen nationwide. It's the fifth biggest economy in the world. You know what happens here can lay the groundwork for what happens the rest of the us but the companies were already thinking ahead Whether they win in california are not and had started to lay groundwork in other states. They are speaking with lawmakers and governors in various states. The companies won't Specify which states are working with but there's indications that they may be in talks with new york and maybe an illinois so it's Done a bunch of work along that front They've been emailing drivers in various states asking them to support their campaign. They have written white papers. They've done national polls to see what people think about keeping divers classified as independent contractors and then they kind of came public with this in march when the uber ceo wrote a letter to president. Donald trump laying out This plan for what she calls the third way it yet chuckled about the third way. Whigs xactly is this. Yes so the third way the way the companies say spin. It is that you know. Our labor laws are over one hundred years old. And there's it's time for an upgrade and this it's a classification of worker that is neither independent contractor nor employees so it's kind of a mix of the two It's those workers that just wanna work. Maybe one or two hours a week and not have to speak to a boss. But they shouldn't they won't get the same types of benefits. Employees have like healthcare sick leave. -cation time minimum wage guarantees all of that so essentially what was on twitter. The right yeah route. Twenty two is is one hundred percent this third way and what prop twenty two offers is it offers a an earnings guarantee that the company say is twenty one dollars per hour but a lot of economists thank after expenses are taken out and if the the amount of time drivers are working is really crunched that they're not going to be making minimum wage. So there's still a lot of discourse around us whether it's going to be good for drivers going national. It's obviously a much bigger deal than just doing this. Focusing on one. St in california they spent Ross or two hundred million dollars on five hundred five million dollars on pro-trade to go national. It's a much bigger deal. Tuggle that about the incoming president elect joe biden and vice president-elect come harris what their positions were appropriate to in just how much Sep of this take will be with incoming white house administration herber and left. The trump white house was very favorable to their position. The department of labor seemed to be heading in the way of saying gig. Workers should be cost-wise independent contractors and the biden win really throws that in a tailspin both biden and harris came out against prop twenty two. They said it on twitter. They urged voters to vote. No on prop twenty two saying decimated workers rights and they have released their plan for workers on their website called empower workers that has a whole section around gig workers and saying that they're being mis classified as independent contractors. So you know depending on how things go. The federal government could place a damper on uber lifts. Plance it's interesting. That harris take that steph. When she's from the valley she's i know she's you wrote about how comfortable she's got in terms of the relationships with silicon valley companies is that is that a surprise that just because democrat. That's democrats role with these In this position you know. I can't i can't speak for her. But this definitely workers rights has been a f- campaign point that bernie sanders and elizabeth. Warren have ran on ams. I think progressives were really hoping harris would and biden take that same torch and they definitely have and it is with harris particularly interesting because her brother in law who worked under the obama administration the head lawyer for uber and has been the kind of voice piece for keeping gig workers classified as independent contractors. And there's there's more That he will be getting a position in the biden harris white house. So you know things things could really be up in the air It's it's going to be really interesting to see how things play out over. The next few months desperately in federal route doesn't go their way. You've already started that. They're talking about other states. Do you think that the go state by state or is that zone strategy that spread themselves too thin. Yeah the experts. I spoke to kind of All over the map on that they the state by state. Now there's fifty states that's a lotta work. They had two hundred million into the california campaign. I mean theoretically not every state is gonna be as difficult as california highly progressive state. That's like berry union strong but other people say you know the state by state way is the only way they're really going to be able to get a handle on this

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