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Dispute over Gig Workers

“Tens of thousands of drivers in New York State, who as independent contractors were getting hundreds of dollars less, as employees are entitled to up to $504 a week,” mentioned Bhairavi Desai, the chief director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which helped convey the lawsuit. “The state would have to roll back a right that people have already enjoyed.”

Fight For Gig Workers

Political Relations with Gig Workers (Contractors)

The victory of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. additionally seems to have given labor extra leverage. The National Labor Relations Board underneath President Trump has deemed gig workers to be contractors, which denied them a federally protected proper to arrange. The Labor Department has taken the same strategy, suggesting in an opinion letter that some gig employees weren’t protected underneath federal minimal wage and extra time legal guidelines. In September, the division proposed a regulation that may codify and increase that discovering.

But underneath Mr. Biden, who has longstanding ties to labor unions and who opposed Prop. 22, the labor board and the Labor Department are prone to again away from these positions. The president-elect has additionally come out in favor of the Pro Act, a proposal that may make it more durable for firms to misclassify employees as contractors and successfully make gig employees staff underneath federal labor legislation.

The scenario in Washington shouldn’t be totally clear reduce, nevertheless. Some advisers to Mr. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris even have ties to the gig firms or have written favorably a couple of compromise. Ms. Harris’s brother-in-law is Uber’s chief legal officer. Some labor activists fear that the Biden administration may very well be amenable to a cope with gig firms.

“We are trying to lead the way in California but it is necessary to deal with misclassification on a national level,” mentioned Ms. Gonzalez, the assemblywoman. “I am hopeful that Joe Biden will do what his platform said and address these issues.”

The final end result on this struggle might hinge on a sometimes-bitter debate on the left: Is it important for gig employees to benefit from the standing of staff, and the advantages and protections that ensures? Or can gig employees win a dwelling wage and favorable working circumstances in the event that they aren’t staff however have collective bargaining rights that permit them to demand this stuff from the gig firms?

Brendan Sexton, the chief director of the Independent Drivers Guild, a company affiliated with the International Association of Machinists that has acquired funding from Uber and Lyft, has argued in testimony earlier than the New York Legislature that “collective bargaining rights is the only way to stop the exploitation.”


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