Uber and Lyft, both based in San Francisco, have warned they could leave the state if their efforts fail.
Los Angeles – Californians are yet to decide whether drivers for Uber , Lyft and other apps should continue to be considered independent contractors or employees of those companies , with the attendant employment benefits.
The battle pits two of the biggest powers in the sharing economy with unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, in what could be the costliest ballot initiative in state history. Voters will have to weigh, as the two app taxi companies are asking, the possibility of creating an exemption to a new state law aimed at providing salary and benefit protection to drivers.
Uber and Lyft have fought a losing battle in the state Legislature and in the courts, so now, with the help of app delivery companies DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart, they are spending more than $ 180 million to take their fight directly to the voters taking advantage of the fact that they will vote in the presidential elections on November 3.
Early voting in California begins Monday. Uber and Lyft, both based in San Francisco, have warned they could leave the state if their efforts fail.
Democrats in the Legislature, who support labor rights, passed the law last year to expand on a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling that put limits on businesses by trying to classify workers as “independent contractors.”
The historic labor law known as AB5 threatens to radically change the business model of taxis and app deliveries, companies that currently offer drivers great flexibility by allowing them to work whenever they want. However, as “independent contractors,” they must waive protections like minimum wage, overtime, health insurance, and expense reimbursement.
“What is at stake is the future of work, the nature of work, how conditions are changing for households amid the pandemic and recession,” said David McCuan , chair of the Political Science department at the University of California in Sonoma.