Get the facts on Uber & Lyft's deceptive ballot measure

October 29, 2019

This morning, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and other gig corporations filed a deceptive ballot initiative that, while making a lot of empty promises, would take away hard-won protections from people working in the gig economy.

If passed, the measure would exempt gig corporations from California’s groundbreaking Assembly Bill 5, which cracks down on employers that misclassify their workers as independent contractors in order to avoid providing basic labor protections like a minimum wage, health insurance, and a voice on the job.

Gig corporations like Uber and Lyft have spent years chipping away at the basic social contract of our economy. Now they’re trying to buy our democracy.

Drivers have built a movement to demand the basics all working people should expect in return for their work. But instead of respecting the humanity of drivers, gig executives have chosen to launch a misleading ballot measure to dodge their responsibilities to the people who work for them.

When drivers are paid so little they have to spend 70 hours a week behind the wheel and sleep in their cars, there are far better ways Uber and Lyft could use those millions than trying to buy themselves a loophole in the law.

This is a misleading initiative designed to trick drivers and voters.

After losing in the California Supreme Court and the state legislature, Uber and Lyft are now hoping they can trick voters with a series of deceptive claims. Here’s what you should know:

Myth

This initiative is about protecting drivers' flexibility to set their own hours.

Truth

The law has absolutely no restrictions on work flexibility. The only way drivers would lose the ability to set their own hours is if Uber and Lyft decide to take that flexibility away. The companies are spreading false fears about flexibility — including sending messages to millions of drivers via their apps — in the hope they can deceive drivers into campaigning against their own best interests.

Myth

This initiative will give drivers better pay and benefits.

Truth

These “benefits” are meager handouts that will do little for drivers. Instead, the initiative would likely result in a pay cut for drivers — and enshrine that in law. For months, drivers have been demanding a living wage and a union. This initiative provides neither.

This is a pivotal fight for the future of our economy.

Uber and Lyft want an economy where big corporations boost their profits by denying decent wages, essential benefits, and basic respect to the people who work for them. That means a future where we have less time with our families, no safety net if we get sick or injured, and little recourse for decisions made by opaque algorithms.

That’s not an economy we want or will accept. Through Gig Workers Rising, the network we’ve built from the ground up, we’ve supported thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers as they’ve organized together, told their stories, and built a movement that was critical to the passage of Assembly Bill 5. This is landmark legislation that sets a model for the rest of the nation.

We cannot — and we know the drivers that power this movement will not — allow a handful of exploitative corporations to steal away this victory. As Edan Alva, one of the driver leaders with Gig Workers Rising said, “We are relentless in our fight to get workers’ rights and our ability to unionize, and we will not stop until we get what we're fighting for."