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Workers win another win as California prepares to rank Uber and Lyft drivers among employees

Protesters in front of the California Capitol in Sacramento
Screen capture: Gig Travers Rising

Carpool drivers in California have been en masse to support a state bill that would classify them as full-fledged employees. They left this afternoon with another victory in what is and is likely to continue to be a long and ugly fight.

Lorena Gonzalez introduced Bill 5 (AB5) No. 5 to the state assembly in January and codifies and expands a landmark decision of the state Supreme Court, rendered in May. last, who was struggling with the same problem of classification of employment. To determine whether a worker is a true independent contractor (as argued by Uber, Lyft and other "big economy" platforms) or employees, there are a number of legal criteria for determining whether the worker has a say in how and when the job is done. The California Supreme Court, applying the broader "ABC test", ruled that contract drivers working for the Dynamex delivery company were misclassified, opening the door for the entertainment industry to challenge their claims. own statutes.

Samantha Gallegos, spokesperson for Rep. Gonzalez, wrote in an email to Gizmodo that the market economy companies "are probably misclassifying their workers under the Dynamex decision." Bill 5 of the House will codify this decision and clarify the occupations and industries in which workers work as self-employed entrepreneurs. "AB5 passed an overwhelming majority on May 53-11.

While the bill is being voted on by the Senate of several states, the carpool companies have put a layer of balm on their gloves to spread their messages to drivers who are campaigning against AB5. A vague petition, sent to drivers in the state, urged them to "fight for the flexibility and independence of the drivers". Many drivers of this type would have signed the petition, later regretting the decision when they realized that they were helping to undermine their own chances of being filed.

Today's protest outside the Capitol in Sacramento was also preceded by a counter-demonstration that opposed the bill, clearly to the benefit of the carpool companies that would have paid to provide the participants free t-shirts and food.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

Uber and Lyft have organized a rally in front of the Capitol with dozens of drivers and their supporters coming from all over the state. The drivers received "I'm Independent!" T-shirts and ate a free lunch in half a dozen food trucks that the companies hired.

In the end, the pro-AB5 group – made up of drivers, militant groups such as Gig Workers Rising, United ride drivers, Fight for 15, and commercial groups such as Service Employees International Union – came out on top. Labor, Public Employment, and the California Senate's retirement committee voted in favor of the bill, 3 to 1. AB5 has reached this stage despite the close ties that California has with these companies, the majority of which are based in the state, says a lot about how far drivers have been able to change public opinion about the economy of the Great Hall.

However, the fight is far from over. The Senate Senate Appropriations Committee will then hear the bill and, if passed successfully, will conduct a full Senate vote. Assuming everything is going well, Gonzelez 'team hopes the law will come into force on January 1, 2020.

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