Who We Are
We are the California Gig Workers Union. We are the collective voice of tens of thousands of Californians who work for gig economy corporations like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and others. We transport passengers. We deliver groceries and goods. We provide exceptional, essential services for our communities. We are responsible for the billions of dollars made by some of the largest transportation and delivery companies in the world.
And we are organizing a union in California.
With a union, we can hold the Silicon Valley tech giants we work for accountable and ensure that we have a fair share of the wealth we create. A union would also give us a strong collective voice and power to bargain for fair wages, increased flexibility, health benefits, and basic worker protections — which our employers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to deny us.
We are building solidarity with workers across California who struggle to lead dignified lives because of the exploitative practices of gig corporations.
We stand with gig workers across the U.S. and around the world who are fighting for justice and dignity on the job, and with workers in other industries — such as healthcare, technology, finance, hospitality, education, construction, and more — where corporations are acting like gig companies and fissuring their relationships with workers to deny them rights and protections.
Our economy stands at a crossroads that demands gig drivers and delivery workers call out the exploitative practices of the tech giants they work for. Our struggle is not just to win a union for gig workers, but to lead the way in ensuring that all workers can fight back against exploitation dressed up as innovation.
We believe in the old labor slogan: An injury to one is an injury to all!
Why We Need A Union
Gig corporations rig the system and undermine hard-fought workplace protections to profit from exploitation of their workers.
For decades, workers have fought for protections that allow them to lead dignified, stable lives. These protections include: a minimum wage, overtime pay, healthcare benefits, paid time off, and access to compensation when they are injured.
Gig companies, with the help of large financial institutions and investors, have undermined these protections. By misclassifying us workers as independent contractors these companies exempt themselves from providing worker protections. They also offload significant costs — such as car payments, gasoline, maintenance, insurance, and more — on to us.
Gig companies control our working conditions — including how much we are paid, how many customers we can decline without penalty, and what information we receive about rides and deliveries before accepting them. Even though gig companies exert this control, they deny that they are employers. As the National Employment Law Center puts it: “These companies want it both ways: to act like employers but not to be held accountable as such.”
In California, gig companies like Uber and Lyft spent a record-setting amount in 2020 — over $225 million — to fool the public into passing Proposition 22. The voter measure exempted California gig workers from laws that protect us.
Prop. 22 was ruled unconstitutional in August 2021 by a California judge, but drivers’ lives have not changed as gig companies appeal the decision.
We hope our state courts will correctly uphold the decision. But if the courts rule on the side of gig companies, we will continue to fight on all fronts to win a union. We will not settle for anything less.
Having a union means that gig companies will no longer be able to ignore us and our demands for pay, benefits, flexibility, and safer working conditions.
Urgency Is Required
Gig companies are leading a race to the bottom by lobbying all over the U.S. and the world for laws that strip worker protections by expanding employers’ use of independent contractors. The tech giants are working in partnership with corporations in many industries — including those in apparel, telecommunications, healthcare, retail, and many more — that want to profit by undermining workers.
We must beat back these threats to worker protections. Together, we will fight to ensure that the so-called “future of work” is one that uplifts working people instead of trapping them in a cycle of poverty.
That is why we — the Mobile Workers Alliance and We Drive Progress — are coming together as the California Gig Workers Union: to defeat the gig company model in California and win a union in the nation’s largest state and world’s fifth largest economy.
As we organize in California, we will fight alongside other labor allies across the world who are pushing back against gig companies and their exploitative practices.
And we will win.