Vast Majority of Daily Newspapers urge readers to vote Yes on 22
SACRAMENTO – Another two major California daily newspapers, the San Diego Union-Tribuneand the Palm Springs Desert Sun endorsed Proposition 22 this week, urging readers to vote yes, noting that drivers and consumers will benefit from the measure.
Prop 22 is the November ballot measure supported by more than 100,000 app-based drivers, as well as social justice, business community, and public safety groups.
The San Diego Union-Tribune and Palm Springs Desert Sun join the vast majority of daily newspapers in California endorsing Prop 22 including: the San Francisco Chronicle, La Opinión, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Bakersfield Californian, Torrance Daily Breeze, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Los Angeles Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Redlands Daily Facts, San Bernardino Sun, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star News, Whittier Daily News, Chico Enterprise-Record, and the Orange County Register.
From the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial, “Vote yes on Prop. 22 to help — and not smother — the gig economy:”
“Proposition 22 would categorize drivers for application-based rideshare and delivery services as independent contractors and require they be paid at least 120% of minimum wage for hours they spend driving. Those who drive more than 15 hours a week on average would be given additional compensation to help pay for health insurance. Among other new benefits, drivers would be insured for medical costs if hurt on the job, would get new help in paying expenses and would have discrimination protections.”
“But these are gig jobs in which those who choose to perform them have full autonomy. A majority of the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom still fail to grasp the fact that these jobs are of a different nature than the binary standard set in state law of regular employees and independent contractors.”
“Shutting down gig jobs that have helped at least 300,000 rideshare drivers in California make ends meet during the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be devastating to the gig economy and the many people who work in it — and who use it. Voters should let these workers be free to decide whether or not their jobs are good enough — not have the decision imposed on them.”
“State and federal lawmakers should respond to the gig revolution not by smothering it but by doing a better job of ensuring all workers have a decent safety net. The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 22.”
From the Palm Springs Desert Sun editorial, “Yes on Prop 22 helps drivers and would be a rebuke to the chaos that is AB 5:”
“Proposition 22’s passage would serve as a loud rebuke to the Legislature and, we hope, put pressure behind a more equitable fix to the current AB 5 for all workers and industries.”
“As for Proposition 22’s specifics, drivers for the likes of Uber, Lift and Postmates would be defined as independent contractors, but also given a package of benefits, such as guaranteed pay of at least 120% of the minimum wage, health care subsidies and accident insurance.”
“…they’d also get to keep the freedom to themselves schedule their “gig” job hours to accommodate the important aspects of the rest of their lives. This flexibility is something legions of these drivers see as the best, most valuable part of such work.”
“We believe approval of Proposition 22 will send the strong signal that lawmakers erroneously and harmfully overreached with AB 5, hopefully sending them back to the drawing board.”
About Proposition 22
An independent study confirms an employment model would eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90 percent of drivers currently driving today. Without Proposition 22, if an employment model were forced on app-based drivers:
- Rideshare costs would increase for consumers by at least 25.9% and as much as 100% in some markets—meaning that a typical $15 ride across town would cost between $19 and $30;
- Food and grocery delivery costs would increase by at least 35.2% and potentially double in some markets;
- An increase in wait times and a decrease in reliability for customers—meaning an average wait time for rideshare of 7 minutes may double to 14 minutes, and food/grocery delivery of 40 minutes may double to 1 hour and 20 minutes or more; and
- A reduction of the customer base—meaning little or no service to most Californians living in rural or suburban areas of the state.
This will come at the worst possible time, when California is facing high unemployment and when app-based work opportunities will provide a lifeline for people to earn income. In addition, more than 71 percent of app-based drivers want to remain independent contractors, despite efforts by politicians to force them to become employees.
Proposition 22 would ensure driver flexibility, by protecting the ability of California’s one million app-based drivers to choose to work as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits. These include:
- Prop 22 improves the quality of app-based work by requiring app-based platforms to provide drivers:
- Guaranteed minimum earnings (120% of California minimum wage), including compensation toward expenses
- Funding for new health benefits for drivers who work at least 15 hours a week
- Occupational accident insurance to cover injuries and illnesses on the job
- Protection against discrimination and sexual harassment
- Prop 22 implements strong new public safety protections:
- Recurring background checks of drivers
- Mandatory new safety courses for drivers
- Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses
- Making it a crime to impersonate a driver