Labor Rights

Whose rights are they, anyway?

Last Thursday, a California First Appellate District court upheld a State district court’s order that Uber and Lyft must reclassify their gig drivers as actual employees and so must add to their labor costs with benefits, paid leave of various sorts, payroll taxes, and so on. Never mind that this will reduce gig-oriented companies’ ability to recover from the State’s Wuhan Virus-related lockdowns and cost thousands of Californians access to additional income.

The time is fast approaching when it’ll be most useful for Uber, Lyft, and other gig-oriented businesses to leave California altogether.

It gets worse. As Uber noted in part,

…rideshare drivers will be prevented from continuing to work as independent contractors….

Indeed. The California court’s order (and AB5, the State statute that originally levied the classification requirement) go far beyond restricting gig-oriented businesses.

They’re attacks on gig workers themselves by denying them control over their own labor and the price and other parameters under which they’re willing to market their labor. The ruling and the statute convert those who wish to work in California into labor wards of the State’s government.

Almost like they’re State plantation laborers. But it’s all good, though; it’s for the workers’ own good.

The court’s opinion can be read here.

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