Newspapers Urge Californians to Vote Yes to Preserve Services and Protect Jobs
SACRAMENTO — Three major California newspapers, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, and East Bay Times endorsed Proposition 22 this weekend and urged readers to vote yes, noting that drivers and consumers will benefit from the measure.
Prop 22 is the November ballot measure supported by nearly 100,000 app-based drivers, as well as social justice, business community, and public safety groups.
The San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, and East Bay Times join other daily newspapers endorsing Prop 22 including: the 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, and the Orange County Register.
From the East Bay Times and San Jose Mercury News editorial, “Prop. 22 would stop the assault on gig firms and workers:”
“During the pandemic, we’ve witnessed the importance of its flexibility, as the companies have been able to ramp up to meet grocery delivery demand while providing jobs that allow workers to choose their hours.
“…state lawmakers and their labor union supporters seem hellbent on destroying the gig economy, which provided about 1 million app-based rideshare and food delivery jobs in 2018. Proposition 22 would stop that assault, protecting the flexibility of the gig economy for companies and workers while ensuring very fair compensation for its workers. Californians should vote yes on Prop. 22.”
“….It’s the right thing for consumers, for the companies and, most important, the workers. After all, most gig drivers work part-time and many work only for a short time or only drive occasionally. It’s a flexibility that’s key to the success of the companies and the industry.”
From the San Francisco Chronicle “Don’t stifle the gig economy, vote yes on California Prop. 22:”
“…[drivers] are independent contractors by any reasonable definition not laid out by the court or politicians. They can decide when they want to work and for how long. They can work for anyone else they choose, including competitors. Most of us in traditional jobs would agree: That is not the generally understood definition of an employer-employee relationship.”
“Under the status quo, … there is a genuine risk that ride-hailing would be limited to hours in urban areas where predetermined shifts would be sufficiently lucrative. And there would be fewer opportunities for the majority of drivers who work part-time at hours convenient to them.”
“It’s important to note that these ride-hail companies are not merely an alternative to taxis: They deliver food to homebound seniors, transport patients to and from medical facilities, and support bike-share networks.”
About Proposition 22
A major new 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. These job losses 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