2020 Oct 8, 5:29pm
456 views 27 comments
I’ve been a software engineer at Uber for two years, and I’ve also been a ride-hail driver. I regularly drove for Lyft in college, and while my day job involves writing code for the Uber Android app, I still make deliveries for app-based companies on my bike to understand the state of the gig economy.These experiences have made me realize a crucial factor in the gig economy: Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick. The instant gratification when we book a ride and a car shows up only minutes later gives us a sense of control. It’s the most convenient thing in the world to go to your friend’s house, the grocery store or the airport at the click of a button.But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor. ...Uber claims Prop 22 would be good for drivers, but that depends on Uber the company treating drivers better. ...As a software engineer, I have a very different experience working for Uber than drivers do. Being classified as an employee affords me benefits including healthcare, a retirement plan, stock vesting and the ability to take paid vacation and sick leave. Uber drivers are not afforded these benefits, since Uber misclassifies them as independent contractors. Since January 1 of this year, the law has been clear: Gig drivers should be classified as employees. Yet Uber refuses to obey the law and is now seeking to get Prop 22 passed so they can write a new set of rules for themselves.There’s a misconception that all Uber drivers are part-time. Maybe they drive as a fun hobby in retirement or pick up a few hours after class in college, as I did. These drivers exist, but the drivers who are essential to Uber’s business are full-time workers. A study commissioned by the city of San Francisco released in May found that 71% of the city’s gig drivers work at least 30 hours per week. It is these drivers who give the majority of the rides. California legally requires employers to provide benefits to all workers working at least 30 hours per week, so 71% of daily drivers are currently denied benefits required by the state. ...My message to other tech workers and to the public at large is this: Research ballot propositions on your own. When your employer tells you to vote for something because it’s what is best for the company, consider that your employer’s interests might not align with your own, or with society’s.To employees at Uber, Lyft, DoorDash or other gig economy companies: Get to know the drivers who use your product every day. In many ways, we have more in common with these workers than we do with the executives making millions from our labor.In November, you will have a choice to either stand with other workers and vote no on Prop 22, or align yourself with executives and billionaires by voting yes.Stand with workers — vote no on Prop 22.
Exempts App-Based Transportation and Delivery Companies from Providing Employee Benefits to Certain Drivers. Initiative Statute. Classifies drivers for app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery companies as “independent contractors,” not “employees,” unless company: sets drivers’ hours, requires acceptance of specific ride and delivery requests, or restricts working for other companies. Independent contractors are not covered by various state employment laws—including minimum wage, overtime, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Instead, independent-contractor drivers would be entitled to other compensation—including minimum earnings, healthcare subsidies, and vehicle insurance. Restricts certain local regulation of app-based drivers. Criminalizes impersonation of drivers.
Don't let millions of unskilled people into the country that compete for lowest wages.
Better to pay at the checkout than pay through ever higher taxes.
I voted against it. I hate it when companies carve out exceptions.
This is a tough proposition for me. I remember pre-Uber times and constantly getting screwed by regular taxis - if you could get one. Uber/Lyft have opened up transportation opportunities that would not have happened otherwise. Traditional cabs were not innovating and just simply believing that buying a "medallion" was all they had to do. The "old" way was relying on a monopoly and therefore no need to innovate. Very tough call for me.
Why don't they just admit that AB5 was KommieKunt Moron Motion and repeal it.
I'm voting no on all propositions in CA.
Please write firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to register to comment