Hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers showed up to a San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee hearing on Friday that the town had to open an overflow room. The matter at desk: Uber and Lyft drivers’ rights.
The city’s Public Security and Neighborhood Services Committee assembled to talk about a resolution that would help an offered California state bill asking Uber and Lyft to make their drivers employees. Currently, drivers are recognized as independent contractors, sometimes referred to as gig-workers, which means they do not get extra perks, including Social Security, medical insurance, paid sick days, and overtime.
Over two dozen drivers took to the rostrum with similar tales. They said they’ve seen lower pay, higher prices and longer working hours as the price of living has grown over time. After they get sick, they said they could not afford to take a day without work.
The problem of gig worker recognition is nothing new. Suits filed against both Uber and Lyft goes back to 2013. Since then, many cities and states have investigated the matter. While New York City ruled minimum wage laws for drivers in December 2018, the National Labor Relations Board stated in May it believes drivers should be recognized as contractors instead of employees. Under California’s recommended Assembly Bill 5, drivers would be known as employees – given benefits and have the right to unite collectively.
Uber and Lyft appear to be against AB 5. One reason why is that the businesses will have to re-work their models if they’re required to recognize their drivers into employees. Not only will they need to pay employee costs, but they will also even have to appoint a workforce of tens of 1000’s of drivers in California.