Big Win For Gig Economy WorkersOn February 15, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
>>California lawmakers have just passed legislation
that would force various tech companies that rely on contracted workers to actually treat
them like workers, who have rights, who have access to benefits and a fair wage. But Uber
says that it will not follow through with this law, which is pretty brazen. And I’ll give you the details in just a second.
But first, let’s talk about the actual bill that passed. The bill passed in a 29-to-11
vote in the state senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts
to negotiate an exemption. Now Uber plans to negotiate an exemption, I’m very curious
to see how that works out. But under the measure, which would go into
effect on January 1, workers must be designated as employees instead of contractors if a company
exerts control over how they perform their tasks or if their work is part of a company’s
regular business. I love this because as we know jobs, very stable jobs that provide a
living wage, that have benefits, that’s full time, those are becoming things of the past. And more and more people are relying on the
so-called gig economy to pay their bills. They deserve rights, they deserve protections.
And I love that California is making this move, but Uber is not too happy about it.
>>The independent contractor issue is probably the defining labor issue of our time. I mean, something like 90% of the jobs created
since the great recession have been temp gig jobs like kind of like the ones that Uber
provides. So this is really like at the heart of the American economic system right now.
And it’s just, it’s utterly, I mean, it was hopeful when the law passed. I mean, then it was utterly dystopian when
Uber it was just like, no, we’re not going to follow that law. Like we’re just not going
to follow because we don’t want to.>>Not only that, they claim that the drivers
are not->>Part of their core business. It’s amazing.
>>It’s insane, that is amazing, yeah.>>The brazenness is incredible. Make no mistake,
Uber is going to put a ballot initiative in California very soon on this very issue. And
they’re gonna pour probably hundreds of millions of dollars that will be a terrible, terrible,
terrible fight. It must be one, because this idea that our
politics cannot control private companies is like literally a science fiction dystopia
and we need to retake that.>>Yeah, there’s so many companies that do
this thing called the Permalancing. So they’ll have 10 jobs. Three people will just be, they
only will work four days a week. And they will work the same amount of hours,
do the same thing. They’ll just switch them out and they don’t get health insurance. And
it’s just to save the company money. Some like union contracts haven’t written in to
allow a company to hire a certain number of permalancers. And every company maxes it out, cuz it’s beneficial
to them.>>Yeah, look, I think one of the most important
things that we need to fight for on the left. And I hope that those on the right join in
on the fight because this really helps everyone.>>It does, mm-hm.>>We need unionized work, right? We need
labor protections, we had those protections they’ve been rolled back throughout the decades
because of the aggressiveness of the anti-labor movement. And look, there are real consequences
for employees who even bring up the notion of unionizing, people get fired immediately.
>>Which is illegal, in theory.>>In theory, exactly. But we need to fight
because otherwise, I mean, if you think you have a safe job right now, you’d be mistaken.
So many people lose their jobs and they end up relying on the big gig economy and they
get abused.>>And if you think there is meaningful political
change possible without a robust organised labor movement, it ain’t gonna happen.>>Yeah, definitely.