back to article California backs Proposition 22: Great news for Uber, Lyft as their drivers can work as indie contractors

Californians have overturned lawmakers in two critical ballot measures covering the gig economy and online privacy, with broader implications for the whole country. Proposition 22 passed with 58 per cent of the vote (with 83 per cent of votes counted) and will exempt app-based drivers from legislation that required companies …

  1. ecofeco Silver badge

    Tech douche bros rule!

    And one ring to rule them all!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Tech douche bros rule!

      The tech douche bros no longer run the companies. They were drummed out unceremoniously after getting pilloried in the court of public opinion, remember?

      Prop 22 passed primarily because somewhere around 80% of the drivers were in favo(u)r of it, Not a single driver that I personally asked (in excess of 40) wanted me to vote no. The vast majority of the actual workers want to be as independent as possible. Ask 'em for yourself if you don't believe me. I did.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tech douche bros rule!

        >The vast majority of the actual workers want to be as independent as possible.

        This is not the barometer for good legislation. For example in many places the vast majority of actual workers of this type (e.g. young/near-minimum wage/no assets etc) would - if asked - prefer to be paid extra cash each week rather than be provided health insurance, but this is illegal in almost all of the world because it is part of the job of a responsible government to override short term, personal gains in the name of long term, societal gains.

        This is particularly the case in the longer term as "vast majority of actual workers" promptly change their mind when they find themselves 50 and subject to the whims of their now-failing bodies.

        Prop 22 is a classic example of this. It condemns a whole sector of employment to be a permanent underclass. As-good-as-no healthcare, no benefits, no comp and the of course, the biggest item: if you're just a contractor, you're not going to be in a union.

        Make no mistake, Prop 22 has nothing to do with the independence of Uber driver and everything to do with Uber not wanting to foot their demographic-time-bomb healthcare bill in the 2030s/2040s and doing everything in their power to avoid having to negotiate with their workforce on an equal footing.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Tech douche bros rule!

          The only problem with your premise is that the vast majority of drivers aren't "full time". Rather, they use driving as a way to augment whatever other job(s) they my have.

          You are also making the mistake of assuming that the drivers are stupid, and are being taken for a ride. The folks I know who use this as an extra source of income are fully aware that it's not a permanent, full-time, lifetime "career", rather it is a temporary means to an end.

          Also, keep in mind this is California. Your situation/laws are quite a bit different in Blighty.

          ::insert something about walking in another man's moccasins::

          1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

            Re: Tech douche bros rule!

            While I agree with you regarding these not ever being intended as "full time" jobs, this has nothing to do with ever "helping" these drivers have a better life. It has everything to do with enabling Unions to take over these jobs and Democrat politician awarding the Unions for their support. Forcing these people to pay Union dues to support Democrat political activities. If you believe that anything the Democrat Left in the US does is motivated by compassion you are a bigger fool than the fools who vote for them here.

            Also, California is not a Right-to-Work state, so if this were to stand, you would not be allowed to work for Uber unless you agreed to join the union and pay dues. The Democrat Left in the US is dead set on ending Right-To-Work laws across the US.

        2. joe bixflics

          Re: Tech douche bros rule!

          Don't be so naive. The issues that really mattered to voters was the danger of losing rideshare service altogether or facing exorbinant fare increases.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tech douche bros rule!

        In other news I have recently surveyed a large sample of heroin users as to whether they would like another fix or to get clean. The vast majority of the actual users want anther fix as soon as as possible. Ask 'em for yourself if you don't believe me. I did.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Tech douche bros rule!

          Tell 'em to move to Oregon then :-)

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Tech douche bros rule!

        Not a single driver that I personally asked (in excess of 40) wanted me to vote no. The vast majority of the actual workers

        The latter claim may be true, but with over half a million Uber and Lyft drivers in California, N=40 is not a statistically significant sample. Particularly not when your sampling method is probably biased by your location, etc.

        Personally, I don't find "the drivers are against it" to be a particularly compelling argument anyway. The whole point of the social contract is finding a balance between what an individual wants and what's best for society at large.

        In any event, this hasn't made me any more inclined to use gig-economy services.

        1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: Tech douche bros rule!

          If the reported result is true, of course it's significant. It's unanimous, and the chances of _any_ sample of 40 members of a population split 50:50, or even 90:10, coming up unanimous are tiny. In the 50:50 case it's like flipping a coin 40 times and getting 40 heads.

  2. rcxb

    Most glaring flaw with the CCPA was the 30 day grace period. If a company is non-compliant, and they get caught, they still have 30 days to come into compliance and face zero consequences. Proposition 24 eliminates that, as well as the other issues mentioned here.

    Unfortunate turn of events for gig workers, but it is a competitive marketplace. They'll have to pay enough, or workers will take other jobs. I've heard it's a bit of a pump and dump scheme, offer high pay at the start to build a workforce, then drop the rates once people have perhaps cut other economic ties and become dependant on that single source of income, which has become too little to support them.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Prop 24 is a start. The people are getting pissed off.

      The vast majority of the gig workers in question were in favo(u)r of prop 22. They won.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        What baffles me to no end is that things we take for granted in Europe (and that even in conservative parties don't challenge, like healthcare, unions, certain protections for employees) are considered "left" and "communist" in the US...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Healthcare is an issue, make no mistake. But it's not as bad over here as you lot like to pretend it is ... and frankly, having needed to make use of health care on both sides of the pond, I'd rather take my chances over here. But that's me, YMMV.

          With rare exceptions in this country, Unions are an anachronism, a historical artifact. All they are is an extra layer of management, making a buck off the back of labo(u)r. If most Unions in the US were to go away tomorrow, I'd party.

          We have plenty of protections for employees encoded into law. Yes, there are a few more that many would like to see, but for the most part things are pretty good over here for Joe Average worker.. Don't believe everything you see in Hollywood ... much less everything the shriller of your compatriots babble about.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Unions are an anachronism, a historical artifact. All they are is an extra layer of management, making a buck off the back of labo(u)r

            That's true in most of Europe as well. The percentage of private-sector workers that are in unions is very small in most countries.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            But it's not as bad over here as you lot like to pretend it is .

            It is on almost every metric and certainly by coverage, cost and outcomes. It's great at the high end… until limits are reached or you can't afford the premuims.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Yes, and things we consider insane far left nonsense, like being unable to fire people for pretty much any reason, are standard in the US.

          Clearly, having a better safety net makes it possible to have much less regulation of hiring and firing.

        3. rcxb

          What baffles me to no end is that things we take for granted in Europe (and that even in conservative parties don't challenge, like healthcare, unions, certain protections for employees) are considered "left" and "communist" in the US...

          Once the public gets used to having something for free, it becomes popular and difficult to take away from them. While there isn't universal health care, no US politician will ever dream of eliminating Medicare (government funded health care for retired seniors and the disabled).

          1. onemark03

            ... eliminating Medicare ...

            Mate, there are already quite a few politicians trying to do precisely this.

            And then there's Social Security...

        4. onemark03

          unions & are considered "left" and "communist" in the US...

          Somehow I doubt it.

          Rather, I suspect that company owners and executives in the US simply don't like the idea of employees having anything to say in management: "WE run this company. You don't." Or something like that.

          PS:

          They would probably consider co-determination here in Germany to be a form of communism.

  3. LDS Silver badge

    It's always better to exploit others than being exploited

    So it's good to be able to find a very cheap driver/delivery boy, but not so much being FB & Google data delivery boy, isn't it? It's hard to ask FB and Google to have an ethic, when you don't have one too....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: It's always better to exploit others than being exploited

      Again, most of the drivers in California aren't stupid, and don't feel like they are being exploited. Why do you feel the need to wring your hands over something they themselves don't find to be a problem?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: It's always better to exploit others than being exploited

        Actually, they are fools - and they will discover it sooner then they think. It's a system built on the fact there will be a pool of people desperate enough to accept low wages, and they will become lower as soon as you can find even more desperate people. It's a race to the bottom which have many losers and very few winners at the top. Just like pyramid and MLM schemes.

        Most people thinking they just get services or goods at a very low price one day will find their wages too wil be slashed down to the others' ones....

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: It's always better to exploit others than being exploited

          It's almost as if people aren't rational economic actors who always make optimal choices based on the information available to them.

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: It's always better to exploit others than being exploited

          Jesus, is there anything at all you people can't fit into a Nazi conspiracy theory?

  4. joe bixflics

    Many workers drive on both Uber and Lyft platforms. Who would pay their health insurance? It is a logistical nightmare.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Yes, no one has ever worked for two employers simultaneously. We have no idea how that might work. It's inconceivable.

      1. bigmacbear

        You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    America is just weird. Where else would poor employment protection and exorbitant healthcare be vote winners amongst the poor? Sorry, amongst the temporarily inconvenienced millionaires. Would UK IT workers have been so keen to avoid paying their dues through dodgy contractor status, dodgy loans and so on if they had lost NHS access as a result?

  6. c1ue

    Just goes to show you: paying over $5 per person in the entire state, will buy you anything...

  7. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "That vote is also a rejection of politicians in Sacramento"

    ....and that should tell you everything you need to know about how the socialist state of California is being ruled.

  8. SkyFlyer

    Everyone should have a choice

    This was always a lose-lose situation. While many drivers, maybe even the majority want to stay independent, there will also be many who would like this to be their full time employment. The problem is unions and forcing this to be the only case is what was overwhelmingly voted against. The real solution would be to scrap the taxi services, pay back their medallions by the state and then make laws that protect drivers and passengers without putting pressure on drivers to be permanent or employers to have to deem them as such. I think that smaller companies may provide the permanent driver route, much like the taxi industry did, and the larger ones like uber/lyft will continue to be contract drivers. This will open competition, provide choice and protection as appropriate to the drivers, and business, as well as let customers choose what suits them as well.

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