Hundreds of rideshare drivers from across California descended on the state capitol this week to urge lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill 5, and renew our call for union rights for all.
Action kicked off Tuesday morning, as drivers met with key elected officials including the Office of the California Governor, AB 5 author Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, and Assemblymember Ash Kalra.
Later in the evening, two busloads of Mobile Workers Alliance drivers left Los Angeles at midnight to head to Sacramento for a full day of lobbying legislators in support of AB5.
The landmark bill would put an end to app companies using “independent contractor” status to skirt labor laws and deny drivers their rights, entitling gig workers to minimum wages, benefits, employment protections and collective bargaining rights.
We were joined by fellow drivers from Gig Workers Rising in the Bay Area, labor union members from a variety of industries and fast food workers from Fight for $15 – all united around the demand that legislators support AB5 and a path to a union.
While a group of MWA members gave public comment during the bill’s hearing in the Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee, dozens of us took over the halls of the capitol, visiting legislators from Southern California to ask for their support. Gig Workers Rising did the same for Northern California legislators.
After the hearing, in which the committee voted 3-1 to advance the bill, hundreds of AB5 supporters rallied outside the capitol building where we heard from legislators, labor leaders and our own MWA member, Linda Valdivia.
“We know that we can have a living wage, and benefits and flexibility – and it all starts with a real voice at work,” Linda said. “It starts with a union!”
After twelve solid hours of fighting for our rights and with AB5 one step closer to law, we boarded the buses back to LA with the promise that we’ll be back as the bill continues to move through the legislative process!