San Francisco Says Coronavirus Has Made Gig Economy’s Labor Abuses Untenable
On Tuesday, San Francisco lawmakers launched a decision condemning “app-based employers” similar to Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Postmates for illegally misclassifying their workers as contractors, calling for emergency injunctive aid along with enforcement of Assembly Bill 5.
In a press convention with San Francisco Supervisors Gordon Mar, Matt Haney, and Rafael Mandelman, alongside gig employees and representatives from labor coalitions like Jobs with Justice San Francisco, We Drive Progress and Gig Workers Rising, audio system laid out the rationale behind the decision.
“By not complying with AB5 and misclassifying their employees as contractors, gig companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have been putting drivers and passengers at risk during the coronavirus era and long before,” stated Edan Alva, a Lyft driver for 5 years and an activist inside Gig Workers Rising. “These large corporations are preying on the most vulnerable population while utilizing them as a workforce by paying them less than minimum wage, exposing them to significantly enhanced risks, and yet not providing them with basic worker protections required by law.”
Passed in September, Assembly Bill 5 is a California legislation that imposes a check to find out whether or not employees have sufficient autonomy to be declared impartial contractors, or are literally workers being disadvantaged of rights and advantages. The legislation additionally provides metropolis attorneys the facility to take firms violating the legislation to court docket and drive reclassification of their employees, as has already been finished with Instacart in San Diego. In a sequence of determined makes an attempt to keep away from the identical scrutiny and final result, Uber has modified its app in California to provide the looks of extra driver autonomy, launched a $110 million poll initiative to kill AB5, and written a letter to Trump begging for a third class with the “flexibility” of contractors and solely a number of the “social benefits” of workers.
“This resolution is calling for a few things, things that should be very basic. One is we are simply asking that California enforces the law—that we actually start to classify gig workers correctly,” Supervisor Harney added. “Second, workers in these companies should be given the same rights and privileges as any other worker … We are demanding that state officials protect gig workers during this pandemic by fully enforcing AB5 and ensuring workers have access to benefits like paid sick leave, disability, family paid leave, and unemployment insurance.”
“Lastly, we need to make sure there are minimal standards—basic foundational standards—for health and safety guidelines for these workers,” added Supervisor Harney. “If they are coming in and interacting with customers on a regular basis, dropping things off and picking things up, they need to be given access to cleaning supplies. They need to be supported if they do get sick, they need to have workers compensation benefits if they’re exposed in some way to the virus.”
The collective refusal of those gig platform firms to adjust to AB5 and cease classifying their workers as contractors has created a public well being disaster. Gig employees are pushed to continuously danger publicity exactly as a result of they will’t afford to remain residence, however they’re additionally a personnel unable to afford getting sick both when it comes to remedy or being suspended from their platforms for weeks.
“Paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, and family medical leave aren’t just nice to have, they’re the difference between workers being able to feed their families or not—and during this pandemic, they’re essential to public health,” stated Supervisor Mar, who wrote the decision.
“Denying workers their rights during a public health crisis is immoral, irresponsible, and we cannot and will not stand for it.”