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Publication: La Opinión

Decenas de conductores de Uber, DoorDash, Instacart y otras aplicaciones protestaron simultáneamente este martes en Los Ángeles y San Francisco para pedir a los dueños de estas compañías que cumplan con las promesas de la Proposición 22.

La medida, aprobada a finales de 2020, permite a las empresas de aplicaciones de viajes compartidos y entregas de comida clasificar a sus conductores como contratistas independientes.

Como resultado los conductores no tendrían los beneficios obligatorios que reciben empleados regulares como tiempo extra y días pagados por enfermedad o desempleo. A cambio estas compañías ofrecieron, entre otros beneficios, un estipendio de seguro médico para trabajadores que conducen más de 15 horas a la semana.

Pero hasta el momento muchos de los conductores dijeron sentirse engañados. Algunos dijeron tener facturas médicas que no han logrado pagar por no tener los medios.

Publication: Wall Street Journal

Food-delivery companies did record-breaking business during the pandemic, as millions of homebound Americans embraced the idea of ordering dinner via smartphone apps. Their valuations skyrocketed. They acquired reams of data that helped increase their efficiency. There was just one problem: Even at the height of their success, they weren’t making any money.

Publication: LA Times

Last year, the ride-hailing service Uber gave its drivers unprecedented control over their fares and working conditions.

The goal was to win drivers’ support for Proposition 22, through which Uber and other gig companies aimed to rewrite California labor law in the companies’ favor.

The firms’ pitch was that the ballot measure would preserve the “flexibility” in hours and earnings that their workers valued, and that they said would be threatened unless the labor law was changed.

Uber’s new options seemed to make that flexibility more real: The company gave drivers more latitude to set their own fares, and more visibility into the trips they were offered before deciding whether to accept them.

Proposition 22 was passed by an overwhelming margin in the November election. Since then, some drivers say, Uber has taken the flexibility options away, and even cut the drivers’ income on many trips.

Publication: Sacramento Bee

California drivers for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other app-based companies are eligible for a health insurance stipend stemming from the ballot initiative voters approved last fall exempting those companies from a new state labor law.

But only 15% of the drivers polled have applied for the stipend, months after the ballot measure became law, according to a survey released Thursday and commissioned by SEIU 721.

The union was among the labor organizations last fill fighting the ballot initiative known as Proposition 22. SEIU also sued the state in February to overturn the initiative.

Publication: 48 Hills

Rideshare and delivery drivers have been unable to access healthcare stipends promised under Prop 22, which passed in November, according to polling results of 501 California rideshare drivers released this morning.

The main barriers for drivers accessing these healthcare stipends is a lack of information regarding which drivers are eligible and how to apply, with 66 percent of 501 drivers statewide responding that they did not have enough information on the stipend in order to apply, according to a report summarizing the poll, which was conducted by Tulchin Research, a San Francisco-based polling research firm, between April 7 and 15.

Publication: Spectrum News

Luz Laguna, a single mother of four, works at least 40 hours a week as an Uber Eats driver. The Long Beach resident says she has worked hard for everything she has and never takes anything for granted.

“I always have to bless myself before I start getting my first order. That way, I can come back to my family,” Laguna said. “I just turned on my app right now. We’ll see how long it takes for me to get my first order.”

As people lost their jobs during the shutdown, gig work soared, but the pandemic also accelerated the inequality gap. That means jobs like Laguna’s are increasingly falling into the category of “wealth work,” or people whose jobs revolve around making the lives of the upper classes more comfortable.

Publication: 48 Hills

About 40 cars and drivers held a “clean-in” protest outside of Uber’s 1455 Market Street headquarters Wednesday. Drivers claim that they have insufficient access to PPE, despite being nearly a year into the COVID pandemic and more than three months after the passage of Prop 22, which provided a windfall to sponsoring companies after their valuations increased by millions of dollars.

Uber’s market valuation rose most drastically, increasing by $11 billion on November 4, the day after Prop 22 passed. Lyft’s market capitalization increased by $1.8 billion.

Publication: CBS News

Rideshare and delivery drivers gathered outside Uber’s San Francisco headquarters Wednesday morning to demand that companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash provide them with adequate personal protective equipment and compensate them for the time it takes to disinfect vehicles throughout the day.

Dozens of drivers from several app-based services blocked off Market Street in downtown San Francisco and turned off their apps for two hours to highlight what they described as a lack of action from gig companies to keep them safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Publication: Sacramento Bee

The California Supreme Court should grant immediate review to a challenge to Proposition 22, the initiative that designates drivers who work for app-based companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash to be independent contractors and not employees.

On Jan. 12, a lawsuit was filed directly in the California Supreme Court, rather than following the usual procedure of a case beginning in the Superior Court, with review in a Court of Appeal, and then the possibility of Supreme Court review. In extraordinary circumstances, the California Supreme Court can hear matters without needing to wait for the lower courts.

The challenge to Prop. 22 is exactly such a situation. The initiative withdraws minimum employment protections from hundreds of thousands of California workers.

Publication: The Nation
Published: August 2, 2019

Not everyone who works in California is an employee—legally speaking. Over the years, companies have come up with various alternative titles for the people who work for them: taskers, consultants, independent contractors, 1099-ers, even app users—all labels that let companies circumvent labor laws and union protections, by deeming workers to be “independent” or “self-employed.” Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, and a host of other gig economy services rely on these “independent contractors” to fuel their profits. But now, California lawmakers are considering a bill that could upend the gig economy’s signature business model, by reclassifying many independent contractors as employees.