Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates (which was recently acquired by Uber) have jointly donated close to $200 million into the “yes” campaign, flooding the airwaves as well as their individual apps with ads.
The proposition assures drivers they would maintain flexibility as independent contractors.
Ben Valdez has been driving for Lyft and Uber for five years and was thrilled when Assembly Bill 5 passed, allowing drivers in California to unionize and obtain better wages and benefits. Easing pressures of paying bills and maintaining life.
However, if the bill doesn’t pass on November 3rd, the dream of forming a union would be diminished. “What Uber and Lyft normally do is they wiggle out of a lot of their stuff. So, they’ll put in these clauses or fine print that just kind of prevents us from being able to achieve those goals. I don’t think that Proposition 22 and their health care benefits are any different,” said Valdez. Adding, “The only way we can force Uber and Lyft to make any feasible changes is we have to organize as drivers. There’s no other way than to form a union and make sure we get our fair wage of pay.”
Many drivers say they have created a lot of value for these companies but have seen very little profit. “Uber is paying drivers poverty wages and continues to slash wages while executives make millions,” one driver said at a protest tied to the Uber IPO.
It’s not often that the fate of an industry hangs in the balance during an election, but that is exactly what’s happening in California this November. We will keep our eyes and ears on this as more information is made available.