Drivers for Uber and Lyft staged a car caravan and rally outside Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s home last week to protest their classification as contractors despite a California law, AB5, which the state says defines such drivers as employees.
“It’s personal for me, it’s personal for all these drivers, because our lives are directly affected by it,” said driver Edan Alva. “My ability to pay for my son’s health insurance, my ability to put food on the table, all these drivers’ ability to exist in a balanced way, in a dignified way, where they live, is dependent on labor protections.”
The drivers, affiliated with groups including Gig Workers Rising and We Drive Progress, were also there to call on Uber to withdraw support for a ballot measure backed by Uber, Lyft and DoorDash that would exempt drivers for these services from AB5’s requirements. The measure, which will be on the November 2020 ballot, would also require that drivers be paid more than minimum wage and would require health care coverage for drivers who work at least 15 hours per week.
In response to a request for comment sent to Uber, a spokesperson for the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition, which backs the measure, responded with a statement:
“By a 4:1 margin drivers have said they want to remain independent contractors. They don’t want to be employees. That’s because 80 percent of drivers are part time and drive fewer than 20 hours a week and most drive less than 10. They’re overwhelmingly driving to supplement income around other jobs and life responsibilities and wouldn’t be able to work as employees. That’s why more than 75,000 drivers support the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Act on the November ballot. The ballot measure protects their right to choose independent work, while also providing new benefits and protections for drivers and consumers. We are full steam ahead with our ballot measure and we’re confident voters will support it.”
A segment from our radio show, “Civic.” Listen daily at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on 102.5 FM in San Francisco.