With the recent passing of Proposition 22 in California, action is expected to attempt to reverse the anti-worker, pro-employer legislation.
The Nation Contributing writer Wilfred Chan discussed how the passing of Proposition 22 is set to affect gig workers in California and how various organizations are fighting back against the legislation on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
California AB 5
Assembly Bill 5 is a piece of legislation that recognized gig workers, such as Uber and DoorDash drivers as full employees. This essentially required companies to provide drivers with all the benefits they provide for their employees.
After refusing to comply with the new law, gig companies launched a campaign against the legislation, which was heavily funded by corporations and spun the law as being bad for workers.
Proposition 22 is a piece of legislation that combated AB 5. It was spun as being a worker friendly bill and ultimately passed.
However, gig workers barely got anything out of it and are still essentially independent contractors. The benefits that gig workers gained are limited health benefits and hourly wages. These can only be accessed after a certain amount of “drive time,” meaning that time in between orders is not counted.
This will make it difficult for gig workers to make anything in areas where the gig economy has little influence, such as rural California.
Changing Proposition 22
Chan said that amending or repealing Proposition 22 will be a tough task. Seven eighths of the California legislature must approve of any changes made to the legislation, including a repeal.
He said he expects this portion of the bill to face legal scrutiny. But the current way to gain ground on removing the legislation is through worker organizing. There are already many groups working to repeal the legislation, such as Gig Workers Rising and more.
Ultimately, the way to repeal Proposition 22 will be through a public opinion campaign to convince the public that it is dangerous for working people.