Drivers Protesting Lyft’s Decision To Sell PPE & Prop 22

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Drivers Protesting Lyft’s Decision To Sell PPE & Prop 22
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Drivers Protesting Lyft Selling (Instead of Providing) PPE & Prop 22 by Passing out FREE PPE to Other Drivers Tomorrow from 11AM-1PM @Lyft Hub in Oakland

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Drivers Protest Lyft's Decision To Sell PPE To Workers

Tomorrow, July 22 from 11AM-1PM, approximately 100 drivers will caravan outside of the West Oakland Lyft Hub and pass out FREE PPE to drivers in protest of the company choosing to sell PPE to workers, as opposed to freely providing these lifesaving resources to workers, and to protest the $110 million dollar Lyft, Uber and DoorDash Ballot Initiative, Prop 22.

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Lyft has partnered with the Canadian military defense contractor Mission Ready Solutions to stock it’s online store with PPE, forcing workers to purchase masks and other protective gear 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. Drivers are infuriated by Lyft’s continued demonstration of its complete disregard for the safety and wellbeing of workers.

Workers are making the connection to Prop 22, the anti-worker proposition the companies are spending $110m to pass in November. If not defeated, it would allow such examples of corporate greed to continue unchecked.

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. For example, the initiative would require a 7/8ths vote by the legislature before any amendments to the law could be considered.

The Harmfull Impact Of Prop 22

Prop 22, if not defeated, will also ensure that gig corporations could:

  • Avoid ever paying for overtime, critical work expenses (such as full mileage expenses or cell phones), or even the state’s minimum wage. These omissions could cost drivers as much as $500 per week in lost wages and reimbursements;
  • Prevent workers from accessing a single day of paid sick or family leave, unemployment benefits many need during this pandemic;
  • Deny workers long-term medical or income protections if they are disabled on the job;
  • Discriminate on the basis of immigration status - a protection that is crucial given that 56% of app-based transportation and delivery workers are immigrants;
  • Obscure access to health benefits that would require individuals to work longer hours for far less assistance than advertised.

Additionally, Lyft is not only shortchanging drivers, they’re also stealing from California tax payers to the tune of $413m, according to a recent report from the Berkeley Labor Center. Lyft is continuing to practice a predatory business model that is subsidized by taxpayers and fueled by the exploitation of workers. If Prop 22 is not defeated, this exploitation will be codified into law.

This action is organized by Gig Workers Rising, We Drive Progress, and Rideshare Drivers United, three groups who advocate for workers’ labor rights in California.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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