Blog

California rideshare union efforts come to New York

| May 28, 2020 | Labor Law |

At the start of 2020, California’s AB5 law came into effect. While many gig workers across the state faced negative consequences and lost contracts with companies that pulled out of the state, one sector of Californians celebrated this as a big win. California primarily wanted to tackle the work practices of Uber and Lyft.

According to the Washington Post, that led to efforts from Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize. The move came after rumors circulated that neither of the rideshare companies intended to honor AB5 and planned to keep fighting it. In fact, both companies allegedly offered a new proposal to the governor that would result in $21 per hour for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Union efforts in the Big Apple

California and New York constantly make headlines as the two pioneer blue wall states in America. When one issues a landmark decision, the other tends to follow. California most often volunteers as the guinea pig, stepping into unknown waters, while New York waits to see how things progress and then generally follows suit.

This same trend is true of the gig law as New York now considers a proposal to reclassify many of its own gig workers. Bloomberg Law reports that Uber and Lyft drivers might also follow the same efforts of colleagues in the Golden State.

Importance of reclassifying

Without a doubt, there are many Uber and Lyft drivers who have no desire to become employees of the company. They much prefer to work on their own terms on the side and return to their day jobs in the morning. However, there are many Americans for whom Uber and Lyft are their day jobs.

These workers look forward to better pay, benefits and collective bargaining power. Bloomberg Law notes that New Jersey has also joined the fight. With this multi-front pressure mounting against companies that thrive on contract labor, workers just might end up accomplishing their goals.

The truth is that allowing drivers and other contractors to unionize could create complexities in the system. However, many lawmakers feel confident that they are up to the task to ensure American workers get the benefits and payments they deserve.