It’s an issue that would go almost unnoticed in the middle of the US presidential election. However, California citizens will also have to decide on the future of the gig economy (task-based economy in French) on November 3rd. As a reminder, the Golden State passed a law in 2019 that aims to treat VTC drivers as employees rather than self-employed. This completely changes the situation for the latter, who can hope to benefit from health insurance paid for by their employers.
However, this text is also heavily criticized by companies like Uber and Lyft who believe it threatens their economic model. The latter did not admit defeat and therefore opted for a local referendum.
A “dirty campaign” to protect the interests of the platforms?
Proposition 22, sponsored by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart or even Postmates, urges voters to settle the debate about the status of VTC drivers. If they say yes, they are considered self-employed, but if refused, California law applies and the companies would therefore be forced to hire them.
As you can imagine, companies are doing everything they can to win this election campaign. CNN reports that they have already invested more than $ 185 million that was unknown for a simple local referendum. Campaign spending is not capped in the US, so the battle is not on par among participants. The union-run non-warehouse could only allocate $ 12 million to combat this initiative.
When the big platforms invest such amounts, it is also because they are not at all sure whether they will win. A survey Conducted at the end of September indeed shows a very divided electorate on this issue. 39% of respondents say they want to vote yes for proposal 22, while 36% are against and 25% say they are undecided.
To be even more persuasive, the big corporations involved in the file don’t hesitate to brand the danger of leaving California. In addition to this extortion, they would use more questionable means. Democrats accuse Uber and Lyft of waging a “dirty campaign” to secure victory.
Quoted by The hillCalifornia MP Lorena Gonzalez would like to warn: ” If you think about how much these companies put into the initiative process to write their own rules, this is a new path these Silicon Valley billionaire companies have chosen and it should alarm us all. “.
The practices of the yes camp are often singled out. The SFGate For example, they investigated mysterious emails and guides sent to California citizens. They come in the form of documents to help progressive voters make their choice. Strangely enough, those groups that support Proposition 22 just don’t exist and would have been created from scratch as part of the campaign.
– Chris Arvin @ 🌁 (@chrisarvinsf) October 9, 2020
On the side of the defenders of this initiative, we defend ourselves by specifying: ” All related expenses will be reported in our campaign account reports According to them, the aim is to ensure that the drivers and the rest of the voters give them massive support on election day.
The November 3 result is being scrutinized in California and the rest of the United States. In the event of a loss, it will also be interesting to watch the behavior of companies like Uber and Lyft. The fight should go on too the legal field where the companies are against the California state.
By: Uber Technologies