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Uber CEO calls vote on Massachusetts concert economy “right answer” – TechCrunch


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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Wednesday expressed support for a Massachusetts voting initiative that would keep workers in the odd-job economy classified as independent contractors, fulfilling a pledge he made ago. nearly a year of pushing for laws that preserve its business model.

“In the state of Massachusetts, we think the right answer is our IC + model, which is an independent contractor with benefits,” Khosrowshahi said during the results call with investors. “Our drivers love it. The prop 22 has proven to be incredibly popular with California pilots.

His comments come a day after a coalition of app-based rideshare and on-demand delivery companies, which includes Uber, Doordash, Lyft and Instacart, filed a petition for the vote initiative that would classify ridesharing. and application-based delivery. workers as independent contractors and provide them with benefits such as health care allowances for drivers who work at least 15 hours per week. The coalition claimed the provision would allow drivers to earn about $ 18 an hour in 2023 before tips. The ballot measure, if it passes the legal ballot and receives enough signatures, would be included in the November 2022 elections.

Proposition 22, a voting measure that kept concert workers in the state classified as independent contractors. spent in California in November of last year. It also exempts concert companies like Uber from the AB-5, the bill that allows concert workers to self-classify as employees with usual labor protections that do not apply to concert workers. independent contractors, such as minimum wage, sick leave, unemployment and workers’ compensation. .

The gig businesses, which are not yet largely profitable, have spent $ 205 million on marketing for this voting measure and have made no secret of their intention to do the same in other states. Which brings us back to Massachusetts.

Khosrowshahi said when calling the results that the vast majority of drivers prefer the IC + model to full-time employment. The Coalition for the Protection of Workers’ Rights disagreed, arguing that the language of the ballot has flaws that would create a wage below the minimum wage for app-based workers that few could claim. to the health care support promised. He also noted that the measure would remove anti-discrimination protections, eliminate workers’ compensation rules and allow companies to cheat the state’s unemployment system of hundreds of millions of people.

“Uber has been using independence like a red herring for years,” Gig Workers Rising organizer Shona Clarkson told TechCrunch. “We know that drivers don’t really have independence when driving for Uber. There is no independence in working more than 70 hours a week, not being able to set your own rates, not being able to seeing where a commute goes and having no real control at work. The benefits promised under Proposition 22 were a sham that did not materialize. As a network of over 10,000 workers in the state of California, we have not seen Uber drivers able to access significant benefits since the implementation of Prop 22. ”

Khosrowshahi said Californians voted for Proposition 22 because they had driver support, and he sees no reason why Massachusetts should be any different.

“We absolutely prefer a legislative result in Massachusetts, but if we can’t get there we’ll put it to a vote and based on what happened in California we’re pretty confident,” he said. declared.

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