22 October 2020

Prop 22 is Needed to Save App-Based Rideshare Jobs and the Flexibility Drivers Want


Like many Latino families, the past several months have been incredibly challenging for me. As a single mother to three beautiful daughters, it’s my responsibility to provide for my family.


I’m grateful that I have a regular job as a janitorial worker — but at the end of the day, that’s not enough to make ends meet. I also rely on the money I earn as a Lyft driver to make sure I can keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I’m able to do both only because I can set my own schedule and work around family and other work commitments.


But politicians claiming they know what’s best for me and my family are trying to take away this lifeline. They say they are protecting me with their new law, AB5. But this law tries to force me to become a full-time employee for Lyft against my will. They’re doing this in spite of what the law would actually mean for people like me.


I don’t want to be an employee, and neither do 71 percent of app-based rideshare and delivery drivers. That’s because we know forced employment would threaten to take away nearly 900,000 app-based driver jobs in California, at a time when millions  are out of work. The politicians’ employment model wouldn’t mean a second job for me—it would mean no job for me at all, putting the wellbeing of my family in jeopardy.


Even if I was offered one of the remaining employee driving opportunities, I wouldn’t be able to take it. I would have to answer to Lyft and work inflexible, preset shifts. In all likelihood, I would have to choose between working for Lyft and my regular job. It’s unlikely the scheduling would work out. Plus, I would lose control over how much I earn, since as an employee I’m only guaranteed minimum wage. I simply wouldn’t be able to do that and still care for my children.



This is why more than 100,000 drivers like me are fighting to protect our ability to work flexibly. We’re voting Yes on Proposition 22 this November because we know it protects our independence and provides us with new benefits and protections.


The ballot measure creates an earnings guarantee for drivers to make sure we get at least 120% of minimum wage, plus money to cover mileage expenses. We’d also get money to use to buy healthcare coverage, and occupational accident insurance to cover injuries and illnesses. It would also make rideshare and delivery driving safer with new public safety protections, including against discrimination and sexual harassment.


Most importantly, it would protect my ability to stay in control of when, where, and for however long I drive so I can still work my janitorial job and continue to support my daughters on my own time.


This is the kind of balance I’m looking for in a side gig: something that keeps me in control of my own destiny while still providing me benefits and protections.


If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that traditional jobs can’t be our only option to get by. Too many people are now getting laid off from their full-time jobs with nowhere else to turn.


Instead, we need to protect and strengthen these independent opportunities so that we can continue to support our families. That’s why drivers like me are supporting Prop 22 in November, and why I encourage you to do the same.


About the Author: Maria Martinez is a mother of three and driver with Lyft from San Pablo, CA.









No comments:

Post a Comment