Contractual or personnel? The status of drivers for apps like Uber is on hold again in California, as a judge ruled Friday, August 20, that it was unconstitutional and “Not applicable” According to US media, the November 2020 referendum confirms their “independence”.
The American leaders in booking cars with drivers, Uber and Lyft, had submitted to vote on a law that would make these drivers independent, while this American country, in 2019, adopted a text requiring these companies to treat their drivers like employees.
The two companies and other allied platforms won the game: Golden State voters voted 58.6% for “Proposition 22,” which set aside paid labor for this task while giving drivers some social benefits.
This proposal is unconstitutional because “Limits the power of the future California legislature to define mobile application drivers as workers recognized under the Workers Compensation Act.”According to the newspaper, Judge Frank Roych of Alameda District Court said Sacramento B. So the result of the referendum is “Not applicable”, He said.
Uber will resume
“We will appeal and we think we will win”Uber spokesperson replied. “This decision ignores the will of the majority of California voters and makes no sense either in terms of logic or under the law.”, is detailed. The California attorney vigorously defended the constitutionality of Proposition 22.”
For Erika Megito, the driver who campaigned for employee status, that decision is “A victory for the future of work through applications”. “I am very happy that the courts consider Proposition 22 an attempt to destroy the rights of workers. I believe that drivers now have a real opportunity to fight for enough income to live and for a fair working environment”She told AFP.
With rival Lyft and delivery services, Uber spent more than $200 million (€170 million) promoting Yes to Offer 22 in November 2020.
Rehabilitating drivers as employees means giving them certain rights and benefits, such as unemployment benefits or potential collective bargaining.
A year ago, three months before the vote, the two Californian companies threatened to completely cut their services in the state, which would have put tens of thousands of people out of work.
In February, the California Supreme Court refused to accept the complaint of Uber drivers who wanted to force the state to reject the law approved by referendum. They hoped to argue that “Proposition 22” would violate the California Constitution by limiting the ability of elected officials to facilitate the organization of workers among themselves and by excluding drivers from benefits to which they should be entitled as employees.
“It’s annoying that it took so much effort to legally admit something so obvious”, indignant Friday Mae Cee, who drives a part-time Uber and is active within RDU (Rideshare Drivers United), a drivers association.
But drivers are divided between those who want to be employees and those who prefer to maintain existing flexibility. Jim Pyatt, who serves in Northern California, says the judge’s decision is a ” Shame “. “They want to eliminate drivers’ ability to operate independently and eliminate the new historical benefits that ‘Proposition 22’ offers, including guaranteed income, health insurance and more.”He argued in a statement issued by the organization that campaigned for “Yes”.
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