[NFBC-Info] NFBC-Info Digest, Vol 183, Issue 11

skylar covich covich7 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 22 00:20:59 UTC 2020

Thanks for this really helpful breakdown, Tim. I am passionate about
the AB5 topic. While I consider myself very pro-labor, I think the
whole thing has been very badly handled. I'm actually even more
interested in protections for freelancers and others who may be hired
for remote work, but I am also definitely interested in contributing
to the debate on Prop 22.
I'm not entirely happy with the corporations' behavior either; it's
rather ironic that they're threatening to go on strike! But there are
important reasons why many drivers don't want the AB5 regulations, and
we can't ask them for short-term sacrifices for a questionable better
outcome long-term. And if this compromise works to make drivers
happier, they'll likely provide better service to us. I doubt there is
much real danger of the ridesharing services going away entirely, but
it's a possibility.
I should do some more research before fully getting on board, but I am
leaning toward Yes on 22 and if I confirm that decision, I would like
to be a public advocate.

On 8/21/20, nfbc-info-request at nfbnet.org <nfbc-info-request at nfbnet.org> wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
>    1. Are Uber/Lyft Shutting Down in California? (president at nfbcal.org)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2020 18:51:37 -0700
> From: <president at nfbcal.org>
> To: "'NFB of California List'" <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: [NFBC-Info] Are Uber/Lyft Shutting Down in California?
> Message-ID: <00e001d6775d$9bcaa060$d35fe120$@nfbcal.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
> Friends,
> Many of us have realized the benefits of ridesharing and food/grocery
> delivery services in California.  For blind people, these services offer
> unprecedented access and convenience where transportation might have
> otherwise been a barrier.  Ridesharing, with the exception of drivers that
> continue to discriminate, allows blind people to enjoy convenience
> comparable to those with drivers licenses or personal vehicles.  Many are
> confused about whether or not Uber and Lyft are cancelling operations in
> California today.  You may have seen articles and statements from uber and
> Lyft explaining that they were going to stop service in California by
> midnight tonight.  That is now not happening.  Here is the digest version
> of
> what you should know.
> Last year, California enacted A.B. 5
> <https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=20192
> 0200AB5> , which makes it highly probable that sharing economy companies
> such as Uber, Lyft, Instacart, DoorDash, etc., are now illegally
> misclassifying drivers /shoppers as independent contractors instead of as
> employees.  On one hand, employees enjoy certain protections and rights
> that
> independent contractors do not.  On the other, independent contractors
> enjoy
> some freedoms and flexibility that employees do not.
> In response to A.B. 5, these companies organized to collect enough voter
> signatures to add a special initiative on the ballot for the election this
> November.  Proposition 22
> <https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_22,_App-Based_Drivers_as_Con
> tractors_and_Labor_Policies_Initiative_(2020)> , if it passes,  will modify
> the law in A.B. 5 to ensure that the drivers/shoppers retain their status
> as
> independent contractors.  Drivers would also receive some, but not all,
> protections and earnings guarantees traditionally associated with
> employment.
> Earlier this year, several city attorneys and the California Attorney
> General engaged their power under A.B. 5 to immediately enforce the law
> notwithstanding the issue for the ballot this November.  They sought a
> court
> order forcing Uber/Lyft to reclassify their drivers as employees and begin
> paying all necessary costs associated with employment.  Other city
> attorneys
> are exploring similar actions for food delivery companies.  A California
> state judge recently granted the request of the Attorney General and city
> attorneys and gave Uber/Lyft 10 days to appeal the order before it became
> effective.  Uber/Lyft appealed and threatened that they would terminate
> service to California if the appeals court did not hear their case and put
> a
> hold on the trial judge's order pending the outcome of the appeal.
> The appeal was granted today (August 20, 2020) shortly after noon and
> Uber/Lyft will not need to comply with the trial judge's order until after
> their appeal is heard in full later this October.  Meanwhile, Uber/Lyft
> have
> no reason to be shutting down for now, though many folks received emails
> and
> alerts today suggesting otherwise.
> This all means that the voters will likely be able to decide the issue this
> November by voting on Proposition 22.  The question of whether the drivers
> and shoppers that we all now depend on should be fully protected as
> employees against their preference or given flexibility and basic minimum
> protections as contractors is a highly political debate involving workers'
> rights, freedom to contract and social policy.  Many people believe that
> forcing these drivers/shoppers and others to become employees will greatly
> increase the price, availability and growth of these sharing economy
> services.  Others note that we should pay those we depend on a basic living
> wage and that these companies with multi-billion-dollar valuations should
> absorb the cost for their workers.
> I encourage you to vote your preference.  Prices for ridesharing and
> grocery/delivery is very likely to increase if these individuals become
> employees.  We may also see longer wait times and reduced coverage in
> smaller communities.  That said, we should all ask ourselves whether the
> compensation being paid to the workers that we now depend on is fair.
> Further, are the minimum protections and earnings offered by Proposition 22
> an appropriate compromise to this highly political debate?  Vote! Vote!
> Vote! Ensure your voice is heard on this important issue.
> The National Federation of the Blind of California will be featuring some
> debate and information about this topic at our state convention, October
> 22-25.  Come learn more and educate yourself and others for the election.
> Also, if you are passionate about this topic and want to speak in favor or
> against Proposition 22 in various advocacy forums, our organization has
> been
> asked to identify spokespersons for further advocacy.  While the affiliate
> will remain neutral on this highly political issue, I welcome debate and
> further discussion.  Affordable ride and delivery services are an
> unquestionable benefit for blind people.  But we also have a responsibility
> as citizens to help our fellow man if we want to be treated likewise.  Is
> Proposition 22 a fair compromise?  Contribute your voice to the debate.
>  <https://www.nfbcal.org/convention/> https://www.nfbcal.org/convention/
> Join our email list
> <http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbc-info_nfbnet.org>  or
> Facebook page <https://www.facebook.com/nationsblindca/>  to receive notice
> when the convention registration form is posted in the next few weeks.
> Tim Elder
> President
> National Federation of the Blind of California
> president at nfbcal.org
> (916) 382-0372
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> End of NFBC-Info Digest, Vol 183, Issue 11
> ******************************************

Skylar J. Covich, Ph.D., Political Science

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