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Silicon Valley Wants to Entrench the Gig Economy and Neutralize the Labor Movement

On January 25, a broad coalition of organizations sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to oppose “third-category” legislation, which posits that gig workers fall between the categories of “worker” and “independent contractor.”

The letter , signed by seventy groups that include the AFL-CIO, NAACP, Teamsters, AFSCME, and UNITE HERE, describes gig work as “life on the precipice of devastation,” rather than the “entrepreneurship” so often touted by executives of gig companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash.

“Across the country, millions of workers hired and managed by companies via internet apps, such as Instacart and DoorDash delivery workers, Uber drivers, and Handy home service workers, are deprived of basic labor protections,” the letter reads.

“Because their employers insist on unilaterally calling them ‘independent contractors,’ these workers don’t get a minimum wage, overtime pay, workers’ compensation, unemployment, state disability insurance, or access to federal protections from discrimination, including sex harassment.”

Proposition 22 in California is the model of such third-category legislation, and gig companies saw a huge victory with its passage this past November. The ballot measure […]

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