Uber CEO calls Massachusetts gig economy ballot measure the ‘right answer’ – TechCrunch


Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi expressed his assist Wednesday for a poll initiative in Massachusetts that might preserve gig financial system employees categorized as unbiased contractors, fulfilling a promise he made almost a yr in the past to push for legal guidelines that protect its enterprise mannequin.

“Within the state of Massachusetts, we predict the correct reply is our IC+ mannequin, which is unbiased contractor with advantages,” Khosrowshahi mentioned in the course of the earnings name with buyers. “Our drivers find it irresistible. Prop 22 has confirmed to be extremely well-liked with California drivers.”

His feedback come a day after a coalition of app-based ride-hailing and on-demand supply corporations, which incorporates Uber, Doordash, Lyft and Instacart, filed a petition for the poll initiative that might classify app-based ride-hail and supply employees as unbiased contractors and supply them with advantages equivalent to healthcare stipends for drivers who work not less than 15 hours per week. The coalition claimed that the availability would permit drivers to earn a minimal of $18 per hour in 2023 earlier than suggestions. The poll measure, if it passes authorized muster and receives sufficient signatures, could be included within the November 2022 election.

Proposition 22, a poll measure that saved gig employees within the state categorized as unbiased contractors. handed in California in November final yr. It additionally exempts gig corporations like Uber from AB-5, the invoice that entitles gig employees to self-classify as workers with ordinary labor protections that don’t apply to unbiased contractors, like minimal wage, sick depart, unemployment and employees’ compensation advantages.

Gig corporations, which largely have but to grow to be worthwhile, spent $205 million in advertising and marketing for this poll measure and made no secret about plans to do the identical factor in different states. Which brings us again to Massachusetts.

Khosrowshahi mentioned in the course of the earnings name that the overwhelming majority of drivers want the IC+ mannequin over full-time employment. The Coalition to Defend Staff’ Rights disagreed, arguing that the poll language has loopholes that might create a subminimum wage for app-based employees and that few would qualify for the healthcare assist promised. It additionally famous that the measure would take away anti-discrimination protections, eliminates employees’ compensation guidelines and permits corporations to cheat the state unemployment system of tons of of hundreds of thousands.

“Uber has been utilizing independence as a crimson herring for years,” Shona Clarkson, organizer for Gig Staff Rising, informed TechCrunch. “We all know that drivers don’t even have independence whereas driving for Uber. There isn’t a independence in working 70+ hours per week, not with the ability to set your personal charges, not with the ability to see the place a experience goes and having no actual management at work. The advantages promised below Prop 22 had been a sham that haven’t materialized. As a community of over 10,000 gig employees within the state of California, we’ve not seen Uber drivers capable of entry any significant advantages for the reason that implementation of Prop 22.”

Khosrowshahi mentioned Californians voted in favor of Prop 22 as a result of they’d driver assist, and he sees no motive why Massachusetts must be any totally different.

“We completely want a legislative consequence in Massachusetts, but when we are able to’t get there we’ll take it to the vote and based mostly on what occurred in California, we’re fairly assured,” he mentioned.



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