Independent Surveys Show Groundswell of Support Among Drivers for Prop 22
SACRAMENTO — As Californians mail in their ballots and prepare to head to the polls, drivers are speaking up about Proposition 22 and making their voices heard. Survey after survey of app-based drivers shows that drivers want to remain independent contractors, not become employees with set shifts and rigid schedules.
Surveys conducted in November 2019, May 2020, and October 2020 all concluded drivers overwhelmingly support remaining independent contractors. In fact, the most recent survey from October showed that, by a 6-1 margin, drivers prefer independence over employment status.
“Being a full-time employee isn’t what I want right now,” said Alisha Anderson, a single mom and rideshare driver, who lives in Los Angeles with her daughter. “I have a daughter at home who needs help with online school all day. I can’t and don’t want to work a traditional 9-to-5 job, I need a flexible schedule that lets me choose when and where I work. Prop 22 lets me do that and that’s why I support it.”
The data confirms what drivers already know: drivers support Prop 22 and don’t want to be hit with massive job losses because of the actions of Sacramento politicians. They want to remain independent contractors—ensuring they have the flexibility to choose when, where, and how long they want to work. The employment model many Sacramento politicians are promoting as good for drivers is actually out of touch with what drivers want for themselves and their families. “I’m not only voting Yes because it will improve my job, I’m voting Yes because it will save it,” said Dave Thomasson, a musician from Covina who also drives rideshare. “In the middle of a pandemic and recession, we need to protect people’s ability to earn a living, not put nearly a million people out of work with no ability to earn an income.” In addition, multiple independent journalists have interviewed drivers, either by taking rides or going to airports, and found that every driver or a majority of drivers support remaining independent contractors and/or Prop 22. Here’s what they’ve found:
- NPR: Future Of Ridesharing In California Rocky Following Judge’s Order On Drivers
- ALLYN: “And I’m doing a story about employment status among Uber and Lyft drivers. I’m talking here to Lyft driver Oscar Amaya (ph) as we’re driving around San Francisco. He doesn’t want a change to his job status. It surprised me that every driver I talked to said the same exact thing. Independent contractor life has its perks.”
- AMAYA: “I prefer to stay this way because I manage my own schedule. I mean, I don’t have to report to anybody. I work anytime I want, whenever I want. If I want to take five days off, I just take it.”
- FOX 5 San Diego: Supporters, opponents of Prop 22 make their case ahead of election
- (1:19) “Well we stopped by the San Diego International Airport, and the drivers we spoke to all said yes on Prop. 22 and gave us their reasons.”
- AP: Uber, Lyft look to kill California law on app-based drivers
- “A majority of Uber and Lyft drivers interviewed over the course of an hour recently at Los Angeles International Airport said they support the measure, with all citing the freedom to set their own hours and work other jobs.”
- “Because I like to stay independent. We may not make the money we’re making right now (if we become employees). So honestly, things are fine.”
- “We want to do our own things. We want to control our schedules, and above all, flexibility.
It’s hardly surprising that so many app-based drivers support the ballot measure. Prop 22 will protect the independence and flexibility of app-based drivers in California while providing historic new benefits including a minimum earnings guarantee and health care.
About Proposition 22
An independent study confirms an employment model would reduce the availability and affordability of rideshare and delivery services in California and 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) plus 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