Drivers Protesting Lyft Selling (Instead of Providing) PPE & Prop 22 by Passing out FREE PPE to Drivers at Lyft Hub
Drivers Protest Against Lyft Backed Prop 22
(Oakland, CA)— Today, at 11AM, approximately 100 drivers from Gig Workers Rising, We Drive Progress, and Rideshare Drivers United participated in a driver caravan outside of the West Oakland Lyft Hub. Following the caravan, drivers passed out free personal protective equipment to workers and spoke out against Prop 22, the 110 million dollar Changes Employment Classification Rules for App-Based Transportation and Delivery Drivers ballot measure backed by Lyft, Uber and DoorDash.
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The action was in direct response to Lyft launching an online store to sell PPE to drivers, as opposed to providing these necessary, lifesaving masks and other protective gear to frontline workers for free. In order to stock it’s online store, Lyft has partnered with the Canadian military defense contractor Mission Ready Solutions to charge workers for PPE even as 67% of ride-share drivers were unable to pay rent in May and 83% of drivers need emergency funds to cover bills, food, and other necessities due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The Cost Of PPE Equipment
“We’re taking matters into our own hands because companies like Lyft and Uber can’t be relied on to do the right thing. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I’ve had to spend hundreds of my own dollars on PPE at a time when it’s harder than ever to make ends meet. Lyft has done almost nothing to help ease the burden on people like me who are struggling to survive,” said Alan Franklin, a We Drive Progress member and Lyft driver from Oakland. “Meanwhile, the app companies continue to burn millions of dollars on Prop 22, the ballot measure they wrote to get out of following the law and continue denying us fair wages, paid sick leave, safety protections, workers compensation, and unemployment. How are drivers supposed to feel anything other than deeply insulted by these companies?”
Workers chanted, “No on 22”, demanding that Lyft and other gig companies drop their ballot measure, obey AB5 and grant workers the employee status and benefits they are legally owed under California law. Currently, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a group of city attorneys have sued Uber and Lyft, alleging that the companies are violating the law by misclassifying workers as independent contractors.
“The COVID19 pandemic has revealed the pandemic of racist greed. Racist greed is what motivated Lyft to deny their majority Black and brown workers the employee status and benefits we deserve. Racist greed is what motivated Lyft to charge workers for PPE even as workers are struggling to put food on the table.
Geed is what is motivating Lyft to spend millions on Prop 22, instead of providing workers with a living wage and basic benefits. This atrocious behavior will be protected if Prop 22 is not defeated in November. Prop 22 is a corporate wishlist that intends to secure a class of explitable workers. We will not allow it and we will defeat Prop 22 at the ballot box.” said Cherri Murphy, a Lyft driver and member of Rideshare Drivers United and Gig Workers Rising, based in Oakland.
As November nears, a recent report from the Partnership for Working Families and the National Employment Law Project, Rigging the Gig, found that Prop 22 is much more than an AB5 carveout. In fact, Prop 22 will codify the broad deregulation of the industries in which app-based delivery and transportation companies operate. Moreover, the initiative would eviscerate worker protections by deliberately misclassifying workers and prevent the California legislature or local governments from doing anything about it.
Additionally, the measure would cancel any local government labor law that conflicts with the measure. This includes many of the emergency measures — like paid sick leave or personal protective equipment requirements — that cities throughout California pass in response to COVID-19. Prop 22 also includes an unprecedented and aggressive lock-in mechanism that all but eliminates the ability of state officials to change the law.
While corporations like Lyft are willing to spend millions of dollars to avoid accountability to their workers and skirt the law, workers will continue to step up and call out the companies and offer assistance to their fellow workers.
Gig Workers Rising is a campaign supporting and educating app and platform workers who are organizing for better wages, working conditions, and respect. @GigWorkersRise
We Drive Progress is a movement of app-based workers behind the wheel of every rideshare trip across Northern California. We are part of a coalition of over 24,000 drivers statewide who are responsible for the billions that companies like Uber, Lyft, and their investors pocket every year. We’re uniting to win our union and a better life for ourselves and our loved ones. @WeDriveProgress
Rideshare Drivers United is a driver-led organization with more than 18,000 drivers in the state of California. @_drivers_united