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Name: Dolores
Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Thu Nov 30, 2017, 02:58 PM
Number of posts: 4,325

Journal Archives

The Gig Economy Is Coming for Millions of American Jobs


California’s vote to classify Uber and Lyft drivers as contractors has emboldened other employers to eliminate salaried positions—and has become a cornerstone of bigger plans to “Uberize” the U.S. workforce.

The tower of aging Manila envelopes, stacked in a corner of Rome Aloise’s cluttered Bay Area home office, is a monument to five years of failure. Aloise, who heads the Northern California chapter of the Teamsters union, has spent a lot of time sitting across a table from officials at Uber and Lyft, trying to work out a deal to organize their drivers. The companies wanted to forge peace with labor while ensuring the workers would still be considered independent contractors without the legal rights employees are guaranteed, including the hourly minimum wage. The union wanted to increase its ranks and boost drivers’ pay without setting a precedent that would endanger its other members’ rights. The envelopes contain a small forest’s worth of rejected proposals, handwritten notes, and other detritus from a great many meetings that couldn’t bridge the gap. “Everybody would love to see some resolution,” Aloise says. “It’s just what that looks like is the problem.”

Back and forth the companies and the Teamsters have gone over the years, as the firmament has shifted around them. During Aloise’s first round of monthslong talks at Uber Technologies Inc.’s headquarters in San Francisco, in 2016, the company’s clout was on the rise—its top officials included then-President Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, and Obama himself joked about becoming an Uber driver after leaving the White House. A couple of years into the Trump era, the union appeared to have the upper hand, after California judges and legislators made it much tougher to call workers contractors if they were central to a company’s operations. Now, however, union leverage is at a nadir, and the scenario that labor officials—including some who don’t represent drivers—spent years trying to head off is beginning to unfold.

Last year companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart spent a record $200 million campaigning for an Election Day ballot measure that would exempt them from the California law, arguing in ads and in-app messages that keeping drivers contractors would protect their ability to work. They won: Proposition 22, as the ballot measure is known, now limits their drivers in California to a set of sub-employee alternative perks such as an “earnings guarantee” that doesn’t count the time or gas they burn waiting between trips. Prop 22 also insulates itself from future reform efforts by preempting local laws and requiring that any tweaks by the state legislature comport with its intent and pass with a seven-eighths supermajority. All this has left many drivers feeling stranded in the worst of both worlds—as beholden to bosses’ whims as employees, without the corresponding protections.

Employees in related fields are already feeling the knock-on effects. In December, Albertsons Cos., the supermarket chain, started informing delivery drivers they’d be replaced by contractors. In California hundreds of Albertsons employees are being swapped for DoorDash Inc. workers, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers union. Albertsons declined to comment on the layoff figures but says that the move is happening in multiple states to “help us create a more efficient operation” and that affected workers are being offered other jobs there. (Some workers dispute that last part.) Startups such as Jyve Corp., which sends contractors to grocery stores to stock shelves in lieu of employees, are seeking similar exemptions.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Feb 21, 2021, 02:55 PM (16 replies)

How To Sign Up For A COVID-19 Vaccine In Your State


This might help provide some useful info.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Feb 19, 2021, 07:56 PM (12 replies)

I know it looks funny to send another "Thank You for my heart" message only minutes after my

previous one, but I don't want my most recent, kind DU heart donor to go unacknowledged.
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Feb 12, 2021, 02:59 AM (5 replies)

Thank you so much kind DUers for my hearts. DU is the best digital community!

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Feb 12, 2021, 02:39 AM (0 replies)

More hearts! Thank you very much for your kindness!

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Feb 11, 2021, 07:16 PM (0 replies)

My "heart-felt" appreciation to those who gave me my hearts!

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Feb 8, 2021, 04:12 PM (0 replies)
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