WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Teamsters Union denounces Uber and Lyft’s threats to shut down operations in California this week over Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), a law that extends employee status to rideshare drivers.
In May, the Teamsters applauded California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the city attorneys for San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego who sued Uber and Lyft, accusing the companies of violating Assembly Bill 5 by misclassifying their employees as independent contractors. The Teamsters took the lead in organizing amicus briefs in both the city attorneys’ lawsuit and against Uber’s legal challenge to AB5 (Olson v. California).
“It’s shameful there are companies that would rather cease operations altogether than abide by labor laws. The Teamsters Union stands with workers in the fight against illegal misclassification and against the bullying tactics of greedy corporations,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.
“Uber and Lyft taking the extraordinary action of shutting down will go down in political history as the biggest campaign stunt ever to backfire,” said Rome Aloise, International Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. “These companies know how to allow all of their employee drivers the ability to continue to work flexible hours, while still getting the benefits of employee status. It really all comes down to greed. These two companies and the rest of the gig economy employers want to opt out of paying into Social Security, workers’ compensation and state disability funds. We as taxpayers are paying their bills.”
Uber, Lyft and other ‘gig’ companies operating in California have poured over $100 million into a campaign to pass Proposition 22 in November in an effort to override AB5.
“The Teamsters are mounting a major education effort and get-out-the-vote campaign for our members,” said Randy Cammack, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “Workers support AB5 and are ready to defeat Prop 22 in November.”
Misclassification allows companies to avoid providing basic worker protections including minimum wage, health insurance, Social Security, workers’ compensation and more. These costs are passed off onto taxpayers, depriving states of revenue, and putting law-abiding companies at a competitive disadvantage. Misclassification schemes also avoid the payroll tax responsibility needed to maintain effective unemployment insurance systems, particularly of concern during a global pandemic.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
Kara Deniz, (202) 497-6610
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SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters