Students express support and concern for California's newest proposition that will allow Rideshare drivers to remain independent contractors.
By Angus Stayte
With election results coming in throughout the country, these are changing times in America. In California, one of the most high-profile propositions was Proposition 22. It’s a proposition that calls into question whether or not California should continue classifying rideshare drivers as private contractors and not employees. The most expensive ballot measure campaign in California history with almost 200 million dollars invested by companies like Uber, Lyft, and Doordash passed last Tuesday. 8,073,556 Californians voted yes while 5,714,200 said no leaving that to be 58.6 percent and 41 percent.
I interviewed a couple of students to find out what they thought about Proposition 22. Josh Fong, a junior and also a part-time door dasher, was very passionate about the proposition passing. When I asked him what he thought about the two hundred million dollar campaigns by some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies he said that “we shouldn’t focus on the corporation’s benefits for keeping workers independent and need to instead focus on drivers for the sake of the gig economy. Becoming employees will restrict that.”
The gig economy is essentially a market that has short-term contracts or freelance workers instead of permanent jobs which is what you sign up for if you are an Uber driver. Fong then brought up another concern saying “as a doordash driver, a high percentage of other drivers I’ve met have broken English. Having an employee-based system will restrict them from being able to pass interviews.”
Corey Miley, a junior business major voted no on Prop 22 and says that now that it is passed the drivers can’t form a union “if all drivers were part of a union then you could drive for whoever you want and you would still get benefits, better wages, workplace protections, etc.”
He went on to say that, “now because drivers are contractors these apps can fire you for trying to form a union and you can’t do anything about it legally. They have no obligation to the drivers.” I then asked him about the two hundred million ad campaign by the companies and Miley said “I think it is a bad precedent to set when you basically let Uber and Lyft buy their own labor laws.”
Time will show the effects of this proposition but for now, Proposition 22 is the newest legislation for Rideshare drivers in California.
Ryan Ford '23,