On the heels of today’s hearing where a judge rejected app companies’ request to extend the deadline on an injunction requiring them to follow the law and classify their workers as employees, Uber and Lyft are intensifying cruel attacks on their drivers. This comes in the middle of a pandemic and mass unemployment; now using scare tactics to push their drivers to help pass Prop 22, a ballot measure the companies wrote and paid for that would give them a special exemption to deny their drivers legal wages, provide healthcare, paid sick time, safety equipment, and pay unemployment insurance.
Today the Yes on Prop 22 campaign repeated Uber CEO Dara Khosroshahi’s threat that the app giant will shut down California operations in a move to pressure their drivers to help pass a ballot measure written by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash that would strip drivers of critical benefits and protections that every other law-abiding employer in California is required to provide.
“Uber and Lyft’s threat to close up shop, putting put tens of thousands of drivers out of work while app-company CEOs cash million-dollar paychecks, is absolutely reprehensible,” said Mike Robinson, Lyft driver and member of Mobile Workers Alliance. “The vast majority of drivers like me work more than 30 hours a week, so the app companies are leaving us without a job on top of denying us access to unemployment in the middle of an economic and public health crisis. This November, we’re taking a stand by voting NO on Prop 22 to stop these companies from continuing to put their profits over our livelihoods.”
“App companies have spent years denying us the basic benefits and protections we need to stay healthy during a pandemic and earn a living wage. Now, they want to take our jobs away completely,” said Saori Okawa, an Uber driver from San Francisco and We Drive Progress member. “We are essential workers, putting our lives on the line every single day to be able to pay our bills and put food on the table for our families – while Uber and Lyft collect all the profits. Voting NO on Prop 22 will force app companies to stop playing games with our lives, and start following the law!”
Threatening to shut down business operations and tear jobs away from drivers is an old ploy Uber and Lyft have always used to try to get their way. The NO on Prop 22 campaign released a list today of other jurisdictions where Uber has threatened to leave, but never did:
New York – In 2015, Uber threatened to leave New York City over a dispute with the City Council, but never left.
Austin, TX – In 2016, Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the Austin, TX market if local voters failed to approve a measure it put on the ballot to loosen background check restrictions. The companies returned just six months later.
Chicago, IL – In 2016, Uber threatened to abandon the Chicago market to avoid having to comply with the city’s licensing regulations, and Lyft joined in. Neither company ever left.
Phoenix SkyHarbor Airport – In February this year, Uber and Lyft threatened to stop picking up at Phoenix’s SkyHarbor airport if an increased airport pickup fee was allowed to stand. The fee went into effect on May 1 of this year. As of today, neither company has left the market.
No on Prop 22, sponsored by Labor Organizations, Committee major funding from:
Transport Workers Union of America
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
SEIU California State Council