A few hundred people demonstrated in San Francisco on Thursday against Uber and its proposal to provide benefits to drivers without requalifying them as employees, contrary to California law.
“I am worried about this industry, for the drivers and for myself, but also for the future of work,” said Carlos Ramos, Uber driver and one of the organizers of a group of workers in the “gig economy” ( task-based economy), “Gig Workers Rising”.
“What will happen when the next tech company decides that it doesn’t want to pay its employees either, that it also wants to keep them as + freelance + in the interests of their profits?” , he continued.
Uber and Lyft, its American competitor, refuse to apply a new California law, in force since January, which requires them to reclassify their drivers as employees.
Instead, they put on the table a compromise, Proposition 22, which voters in that US state are due to vote on on November 3. They want to grant certain advantages (minimum income, contributions to insurance), but keep their platform model which connects customers and drivers.
“No to Proposition 22,” chanted the drivers outside Uber’s headquarters, joined by bikers from the Teamster union and employees in the tech industry.
Ivan came to demonstrate because “the Proposal is insufficient. This is just a facade for these companies to make a profit, but it is done at our expense ”.
“Today, Uber, Lyft, Doordash and all those companies, pay less than minimum wage. All the rights that were beaten by previous generations are thrown out the window in the name of concepts such as freelancers or “flexibility”. But if a company is not able to pay people the minimum wage to do their jobs then it should not be allowed to operate, ”commented Maria, an employee of a company in the technology sector, who came to support. the drivers.
The platforms ensure for their part that the overwhelming majority of drivers, four out of five, prefer the current model, for the flexibility of schedules.
According to Lyft, 86% of its California drivers drive less than 20 hours a week and want to be in control of their schedule, because they are students, retired, or have another job.
The two companies spent tens of millions of dollars to organize the poll.