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Sun Feb 21, 2021, 02:55 PM

The Gig Economy Is Coming for Millions of American Jobs

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-02-17/gig-economy-coming-for-millions-of-u-s-jobs-after-california-s-uber-lyft-vote?utm_source=pocket-newtab

California’s vote to classify Uber and Lyft drivers as contractors has emboldened other employers to eliminate salaried positions—and has become a cornerstone of bigger plans to “Uberize” the U.S. workforce.

The tower of aging Manila envelopes, stacked in a corner of Rome Aloise’s cluttered Bay Area home office, is a monument to five years of failure. Aloise, who heads the Northern California chapter of the Teamsters union, has spent a lot of time sitting across a table from officials at Uber and Lyft, trying to work out a deal to organize their drivers. The companies wanted to forge peace with labor while ensuring the workers would still be considered independent contractors without the legal rights employees are guaranteed, including the hourly minimum wage. The union wanted to increase its ranks and boost drivers’ pay without setting a precedent that would endanger its other members’ rights. The envelopes contain a small forest’s worth of rejected proposals, handwritten notes, and other detritus from a great many meetings that couldn’t bridge the gap. “Everybody would love to see some resolution,” Aloise says. “It’s just what that looks like is the problem.”

Back and forth the companies and the Teamsters have gone over the years, as the firmament has shifted around them. During Aloise’s first round of monthslong talks at Uber Technologies Inc.’s headquarters in San Francisco, in 2016, the company’s clout was on the rise—its top officials included then-President Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, and Obama himself joked about becoming an Uber driver after leaving the White House. A couple of years into the Trump era, the union appeared to have the upper hand, after California judges and legislators made it much tougher to call workers contractors if they were central to a company’s operations. Now, however, union leverage is at a nadir, and the scenario that labor officials—including some who don’t represent drivers—spent years trying to head off is beginning to unfold.

Last year companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart spent a record $200 million campaigning for an Election Day ballot measure that would exempt them from the California law, arguing in ads and in-app messages that keeping drivers contractors would protect their ability to work. They won: Proposition 22, as the ballot measure is known, now limits their drivers in California to a set of sub-employee alternative perks such as an “earnings guarantee” that doesn’t count the time or gas they burn waiting between trips. Prop 22 also insulates itself from future reform efforts by preempting local laws and requiring that any tweaks by the state legislature comport with its intent and pass with a seven-eighths supermajority. All this has left many drivers feeling stranded in the worst of both worlds—as beholden to bosses’ whims as employees, without the corresponding protections.

Employees in related fields are already feeling the knock-on effects. In December, Albertsons Cos., the supermarket chain, started informing delivery drivers they’d be replaced by contractors. In California hundreds of Albertsons employees are being swapped for DoorDash Inc. workers, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers union. Albertsons declined to comment on the layoff figures but says that the move is happening in multiple states to “help us create a more efficient operation” and that affected workers are being offered other jobs there. (Some workers dispute that last part.) Startups such as Jyve Corp., which sends contractors to grocery stores to stock shelves in lieu of employees, are seeking similar exemptions.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Gig Economy Is Coming for Millions of American Jobs (Original post)
alwaysinasnit Feb 21 OP
True Dough Feb 21 #1
alwaysinasnit Feb 21 #2
Hortensis Feb 22 #15
CrispyQ Feb 21 #3
area51 Feb 21 #4
I_UndergroundPanther Feb 21 #5
JI7 Feb 21 #6
alwaysinasnit Feb 21 #7
JI7 Feb 21 #8
KentuckyWoman Feb 21 #9
alwaysinasnit Feb 21 #10
Klaralven Feb 21 #11
Skittles Feb 22 #13
Initech Feb 21 #12
onethatcares Feb 22 #14
Politicub Feb 22 #16

Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 02:58 PM

1. It's so pathetic

Remember when company pensions were common? Even basic employee benefits are getting more difficult to find. This is always tilted in favor of corporations.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 03:02 PM

2. Yup, the social contract has definitely been broken.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:31 AM

15. Dreadful. And hard to fix. Most workers were persuaded to be

full partners in breaking it and keeping it broken by rejecting collective bargaining through unionization and supporting deregulation and elimination of labor rights.

We could fix business's hash in a heartbeat, but 40 years of decline in wellbeing hasn't been enough to turn its enablers around. Many who were badly hurt have nevertheless retired on Social Security in paid-off homes, or expect to, and leave the problems to younger generations.

Past time for younger generations of conservatives to rebel.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 03:42 PM

3. It's time to revoke corporate personhood.

The framers never meant for corporations to have the same Constitutional rights as We the People. There is actually some dispute as to whether the Supreme Court meant to bestow personhood rights on corporations back in the 1800s, but unfortunately, much like a sitting president can't be indicted, it's stuck.

Meet the Corporation—the Sierra Club A one page primer on corporate personhood.

Reclaim Democracy's Corporate Personhood pages A ton of good links here!

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 03:43 PM

4. All the more reason we need health care as a right,

not tied to any job.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:11 PM

5. greedy unfair selfish greedy corporations

i think its time to start revoking corporate charters, No one is entitled to have a business. A business that cheats and hurts workers is even worse. Enough of the goddamn greed and dehumanizing bullshit. They'd change their tune real fast if corporate charters got yanked over mistreating and exploiting workers to squeeze them. fuck efficiency fuck the corporate pigs and the republicans that adore this kind of corporate cruelty

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Response to I_UndergroundPanther (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:14 PM

6. Voters in California wanted this

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Response to JI7 (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 10:56 PM

7. Very true. I don't think many voters actually took the time to read and analyze the text

of the Proposition, and I'm certain that is what these corporations were counting on.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:00 PM

8. They voted the way they did becsuse they didn't want to pay more for the services

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:19 PM

9. The race to the bottom.

20 years ago someone I know scored a job with P&G through a temp agency. The job was supposed to be temp for 6 months and then if they like you, they hire you. NOPE. For 7 years he was "temp" full time. No benefits. In the meantime his co-workers had medical insurance, vacation, retirement benefits.

The economy was not good at the time but once he could, he left and went to work elsewhere.

Now it won't even be "temp" as in we'll tell you how long you can expect to work here. Instead it will be a whole nation of day laborers. And then it will be "we have a 2 hr project for you".

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:27 PM

10. +1000

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:34 PM

11. Back to the future -- sort of like the old days, with longshoremen waiting for jobs to unload ships?

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 12:53 AM

13. day laborers

yup

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Feb 21, 2021, 11:44 PM

12. Prop 22 was a hose job.

And the perfect bait and switch for the conservative propaganda machine. They get people to vote against their best interests, and when they actually do so, and the policies don't work in their favor, they use that as an excuse to trash liberals. Which gets people more riled up in their favor. Then rinse and repeat. That's how you get the Trumps of the world in power.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 07:57 AM

14. funny thing

we never read of stories about CEOs having to unionize in order to get benefits....

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Mon Feb 22, 2021, 08:56 AM

16. I hate looking for gig work. It feels like applying for jobs over

and over again.

I haven’t worked for about a year and a half. I hope to be able to get a salaried position after I get vaccinated. But articles like this make me frustrated about the overall trends in hiring.

I am thankful for Obamacare. If the US is truly going to a gig centric economy, health insurance needs to be universal and at a predictable cost. The one drawback about Obamacare is the rate subsidy changes dramatically based on income. That’s hard to predict when work is not steady, and can result in a big tax bill at the end of the year if you’re not careful.

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