Gig Employee Solidarity MA
Giant app-based corporations are leading an effort to undermine basic workplace protections and workers’ rights in Massachusetts.
Gig workers like rideshare and delivery drivers — also called “on-demand workers” — play a growing and vital role in our state economy. Like all workers, they deserve basic protections including living wages, strong safety standards, and paid sick time.
Rideshare companies are doubling down on anti-worker policies in states across the country. In California, corporate special interest groups poured $200 million into passing Proposition 22, a ballot initiative that stripped gig workers of fundamental labor rights such as paid sick time, minimum wage laws, and more.
Now, Big Tech corporations are trying to bring their bad policies to Massachusetts.
The same tech mega-corporations behind Prop 22 founded a Massachusetts group misleadingly called the Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work (MCIW). This astroturf organization was created by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart executives, only one of whom lives in Massachusetts. MCIW doesn’t represent the interests or values of our Commonwealth — it exists to protect corporations that profit from exploiting workers.
MCIW says they want to help workers and communities. But they are pushing legislation that would deprive gig workers of basic employment rights by legally defining them as “independent contractors” — not employees. That provision is easy to miss in the legislation, which was crafted to appear like it supports gig workers with a proposal for a “portable benefits system.” But if passed, the bill would take away far more than it promises to give, by depriving on-demand workers of basic labor rights like minimum wage, overtime, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, and safety standards.
According to the Massachusetts Attorney General, gig workers are already employees under Massachusetts law, and entitled to “critical labor rights and benefits, such as minimum wage, overtime, and earned sick time.” If Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart get their way, gig workers will no longer have a claim on those rights and benefits. Learn more about the Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights here.
What’s at stake in MA?
In 2019, the powerful grassroots organizing of gig workers across California resulted in the passage of legislation that defined on-demand workers as employees under state law, ensuring they had the same basic protections as other workers. But then, the big on-demand tech corporations like Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash poured hundreds of millions of dollars into a misleading campaign to pass Prop 22. This law explicitly denies workers basic rights and benefits by defining them as independent contractors, not employees – exemplifying how Big Tech uses the gig economy to gut workers’ rights and drive down labor standards while their top executives make millions.
If Big Tech succeeded in passing Prop 22 look-alike legislation in Massachusetts, it would:
Massachusetts workers and communities are uniting against these attacks by corporate special interests. Support our efforts and join our fight. Together, we can protect gig workers and our communities from Big Tech’s dangerous plan.
Learn more about the national efforts to protect workers’ rights.
From National Employment Law Project:
- Lasting Solutions For America’s Temporary Workers
- Independent Contractors And Covid-19: Working Without Protections
- Independent Contractor Misclassification Imposes Huge Costs On Workers And Federal And State Treasuries