Vote NO on Prop 22
Gig Workers Collective is a worker-led gig economy advocacy group. We first started organizing in 2016, when Instacart replaced our tips with a shady service fee that the company pocketed. Since then, we've held protests due to Instacart misappropriating tips, replacing transparent pay with a shady algorithm, and dropping the pay so drastically, some workers were making as low as $1.50 per order.
Shipt workers are starting to see similar issues. In late 2019, Shipt started to replace its fair, transparent pay with a shady algorithm. Workers saw a major pay cut. During the pandemic, Shipt announced that the pay cut would be spreading to even more cities, and would ultimately launch nationwide. Shipt shoppers have also had issues with misappropriated tips.
Restaurant delivery drivers aren't faring much better. DoorDash used tips to supplement their contributions to pay, Postmates pays so low, you're essentially paying them to fill orders, and GrubHub punishes drivers who don't accept every order, even if the pay is low or the distance is too far.
Our friends at Rideshare Drivers United have been advocating for rideshare drivers even before we became involved. Since their May 2019 strike that went global, RDUs over 17000 CA members are fighting for basic labor protections, fair pay, and a real voice on the job. 5000 drivers filed wage claims with the CA labor commission for over $1.3 billion stolen wages and damages which pushed the Commission to sue Lyft and Uber on behalf of all drivers. RDU members are organizing against the Lyft and Uber proposition 22 that aims to keep drivers and delivery workers forever unprotected by basic labor law.
While gig economy activists have made some dents in fixing a system intentionally designed to exploit workers, we all agree on one thing - the system can't actually be fixed until the law catches up with the gig economy. Labeling us as Independent Contractors means the companies don't have to follow labor laws or properly pay us. Once we are properly classified, we have proper protection.
AB5 was recently passed in California. This state statute properly classifies gig workers as employees. We are thrilled that this bill was passed. Soon after, gig economy companies spent $110,000,000 to fight the bill. They’re spending this money to spread propaganda, in hopes of gig workers believing that a proper classification will destroy their flexibility and livelihood.
Below are some FAQ about what Prop 22 actually means, and why it's crucial that gig workers, customers, and allies vote NO on Prop 22.
What is Proposition 22?
Proposition 22 is a California ballot initiative on the November 2020 ballot. Proposition 22 would:
Undermine the labor rights and protections of California gig workers.
Create a permanent underclass of workers in California.
Fail to provide a consistent, reliable, and fair earnings structure for gig workers.
Prohibit gig workers from accessing state insurance programs such as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and paid family leave.
Why is Proposition 22 harmful to workers?
Prop 22 would grant gig companies in California unprecedented exemptions from following the laws that protect the rights and safety of California’s app-based workers. During a pandemic in which gig workers are deemed essential, we need the rights and protections of properly classified employment now more than ever. Gig workers have performed invaluable work by ensuring that many vulnerable populations are able to shelter-in-place while sharing in none of the rights and protections afforded to all other employees.
AB 5, a California state law, attempts to hold gig companies accountable to the same laws that all other companies are already held accountable for following.
Gig companies have perpetrated false narratives about the differences between independent contracting and employment. Contrary to gig company’s claims, AB 5 does not establish rigid scheduling, set shifts or threaten our flexibility.
How are gig workers impacted by Proposition 22?
Proposition 22 would narrowly remove the rights and protections of gig workers to be paid a minimum wage, be eligible for employer-provided benefits, and be eligible for state insurance programs.
According to the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s analysis of the measure:
Due to loopholes inherent in Proposition 22, workers would average only $5.64/hour for their work. Under current law, all workers are entitled to a minimum wage of at least $13.00/hour in California.
Health care contribution equal to 100 percent of the average employer payment toward a Covered California Plan, or $367 per month to a driver on average.
Provides a subsidy only for workers who meet rigid criteria, and only if the worker already has a qualifying health insurance plan.
Provides no contributions or additional compensation for all other workers.
Do gig workers support Proposition 22?
No. Workers fought hard to pass AB 5 and extend the rights and protections afforded to all other workers, to gig workers too. To date, gig companies have underpaid workers by hundreds of billions of dollars they are entitled to as properly classified employees. Gig companies have prompted workers to sign a pledge of support for Proposition 22 to be able to move onto their work.
Virtually all of the workers that gig companies claim support Proposition 22, have done nothing more than click “ok” on an in-app notification. (having trouble wording and expanding upon this point properly).
Who supports Proposition 22?
California Peace Officers Association
California Police Chiefs Association
California State Sheriffs' Association
Who opposes Proposition 22?
Gig workers, labor organizations, labor unions, and teachers.
California Democratic Party
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
California Teachers Association
Middle-Class Taxpayers Association
Mobile Workers Alliance
SEIU California State Council
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Transport Workers Union of America
United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council
California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
Gig Workers’ Collective
Rideshare Drivers United
We Drive Progress
Mobile Workers Alliance
How will the health care component of Proposition 22 work?
Instead of providing health care benefits to their employees, Proposition 22 allows gig companies to provide health care premium assistance only to workers that already have their own qualifying health insurance plan. Proposition 22 offers significantly less than what workers are entitled to under the law as employees.
How would Proposition 22 affect consumers and the public?
Gig workers are essential workers and deserve all of the protections and rights afforded to properly classified employees. By misclassifying gig workers, gig companies are not only harming gig workers but also costing California taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Gig workers often earn so little, they are eligible for Medicaid and other social welfare programs. Because gig companies also don’t pay their fair share of taxes, they create an undue burden on both workers and the general public.
By creating a permanent underclass of workers, Proposition 22 aims to expand upon the economic insecurity of gig workers. Gig workers provide transportation, deliver food, medicine, and groceries to many households that are reliant upon these transportation and delivery services --however, the very same workers are often unable to afford their own medicine and groceries.
Does Proposition 22 apply to all workers?
No, Proposition 22 is narrowly crafted to eliminate labor rights and protections for gig economy workers.
Why is Proposition 22 narrowly crafted for just on-demand rideshare and delivery network companies and drivers?
Gig companies have spent the last decade of their existence operating in blatant disregard for the law. They have built a business model that relies upon on the misclassification and exploitation of their workers. Proper classification comes with increased costs for companies, and also would require them to pay their fair share of payroll taxes, which they have avoided paying for over a decade. Quite simply, gig companies want to write their own rules. The consequences for all workers are vast if companies succeed in exempting themselves from the law.
What time will gig workers be paid for?
Unlike employment where you are paid for all hours dedicated to working, and for mandatory breaks, Proposition 22 only pays workers for what they call engaged time. Engaged time does not include all-time worked, but only narrowly applies to the time actively performing a requested ride or delivery. This means that the return trips, rest periods, and time between tasks are entirely uncompensated, resulting in earnings that can easily fall far below the actual minimum wage employees in California are entitled to.
How do the accidental insurance and other benefits work?
Proposition 22 would exempt gig workers from eligibility for state disability or workers’ compensation insurance. Instead, it would provide gig workers with a far less robust and far less comprehensive occupational accident insurance policy. Importantly, this policy only covers workers during engaged time, and provides no protections for the time that workers that are traveling between jobs.