“Uber helped wage a $200 million war in California to keep drivers as contractors,” notes the Washington Post — successfully funding a ballot proposition that overrides a high-stakes 2019 law which insisted drivers be considered employees. “But now that the ballot measure has passed, the company says its work isn’t done…” The ride-hailing giant’s CEO said Thursday that Uber is looking to expand the model to other states, joining an executive from rival Lyft who said something similar earlier this week… “Going forward, you’ll see us more loudly advocating for…laws like Prop 22,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, adding later: “We were the first to come forward with this [independent contractor]-plus model, the idea that drivers deserve flexibility plus benefits. We want to have a dialogue with governments [in] other states…” Uber and Lyft’s stocks have rallied this week, logging percentage gains in the double digits as investors reacted to the news that they would not have to make drivers employees. The proposition promises independent contractors 120% of the minimum wage plus contributions to healthcare equivalent to what other employers currently provide (or half that amount for employees averaging less than 25 hours a week but more than 15). But the Post points out that “Unlike full employment, however, benefits are calculated based on a driver’s active time, negating the potential hours per week they spend waiting for a fare while logged onto the apps…” Uber’s chief financial officer told the Post that the new benefits “will result in probably a 5% increase to cover the incremental [costs],” including benefits, adding “We do believe that it’ll be manageable.” The Post adds that labor advocates “fiercely opposed Proposition 22, saying it was a transparent attempt to snatch newly enshrined employment rights from workers.”
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