New report finds Prop. 22 depresses wages and deepens inequities for California workers
Findings from a study just made public today reveal that Prop. 22 undermines the pay, benefits, and autonomy of California gig workers, weakening the state’s economy and exacerbating racial inequalities.
Prop. 22, passed in 2020, but being challenged in court, allows companies to classify their app-based rideshare and delivery workers as independent contractors. This also denies them access to employment protections like minimum wage or overtime benefits.
The study, a collaboration between the National Equity Atlas and Rideshare Drivers United, an advocacy group, used data from 55 rideshare drivers in California between Nov. 1, 2021, and Dec. 12, 2021. The data came through a mobile app dubbed Driver’s Seat Cooperative.
“Basically, Prop 22 is legalizing sub-minimum wage, it’s creating a second-class workforce,” said Nicole Moore, president of Rideshare Drivers United, at the press conference. “We can’t allow it to continue. The state doesn’t have the data. They can’t see it. This is up to us as drivers, and that’s why we did this big study and 55 drivers gave their data to one big pool.”
“We need the support of lawmakers, regulators and the courts,” she said.
Some of the conclusions:
- Under Prop. 22, the median net take-home pay per hour for drivers is $6.20; drivers who pay for their own health insurance earn about half that figure.
- If drivers were classified as employees, they would earn nearly $11 more per hour.
- Under Prop. 22, rideshare jobs have become less flexible and more controlled by the platforms.
First action under Biden to crack down on exploitation of gig workers
Gig workers are entitled to protection, regardless of their classification, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Thursday. Their plan to combat gig-worker exploitation marks Biden’s first action on the issue, despite it being a campaign promise.
“No matter how gig companies choose to classify them, gig workers are consumers entitled to protection under the laws we enforce,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement, according to MarketWatch.
Even so, the platforms are not ready to abandon their insistence on classifying workers as independent contractors. “During today’s meeting, we heard from workers and advocacy groups emphasizing how app-based work provides flexibility and independence that lets millions of people earn additional income on their terms,” said Kristin Sharp, chief executive of Flex Association (a group representing the interest of Uber Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, etc.), in an email to MarketWatch.
Uber’s internal system was hacked, user data remains intact
On Thursday, Uber discovered that its computer network had been compromised, prompting the firm to shut down a number of its internal communications and engineering systems as it looked into the scope of the attack, according to The New York Times.
According to an updated statement from the company on Monday, no signs of the hacker accessing user data have been found so far.
While the investigation is still underway, the rideshare giant attributes the incident to a hacking group called Lapsus$, which has targeted tech companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Samsung, Nvidia and Okta over the last year or so.
Instacart plans to focus its IPO on selling employee shares
Rather than raising money in its initial public offering, Instacart plans to have the majority of its IPO listing come from the sale of employees’ shares, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The decision will help Instacart retain talent, allowing it more ways to benefit from its shares. But the company is also further delaying its IPO because it fears it won’t be able to get a good price in the current market, as tech stocks continue to slump.
The grocery delivery company’s own dubious performance may also be a factor. Mission Local reported earlier this month that, while Instacart continues to report an increase in orders and revenue in advance of its IPO, its San Francisco workers aren’t experiencing that prosperity. Instead, suffering from a lack of orders, they report that their “sitting time is longer than their working time.”
DoorDash’s new advertising push may be showing the company’s desperation
On Saturday morning, Mission Local spotted a woman handing out DoorDash printed fliers at the 16th Street BART station. The flier states that if you scan a QR code, you’ll get 50 percent off your first DoorDash order of $20 or more, and up to $20 off. The woman told Mission Local that she was hired by a marketing firm, rather than DoorDash.
This antiquated act may be emblematic of the online food order giant’s desperate desire to rope in new customers. Given that DoorDash’s stock price has plummeted more than 50 percent since the start of this year, we might see more discounts ahead.