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By Julian Peeples

What do corporations do when state leaders pass a law forcing them to observe basic workers’ rights and respect their employees? They spend millions to place a ballot measure and try to repeal the law, so they can continue to exploit their workers.

Gig employers like ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft wrote Proposition 22 and paid to put it on the ballot for one reason: to boost their profits by continuing to unfairly deny their drivers wages, sick leave, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Gig companies don’t want to pay for the employee benefits and protections their drivers have earned, so they wrote this initiative to circumvent the law that requires them to treat their workers as employees rather than contractors.

What does this mean for the hardworking Californians who take us to the airport and deliver our food? No minimum wage; no overtime; no meal breaks; and no paid sick leave, health care or unemployment insurance. Gig companies want voters to think this measure is about safety, but Prop. 22 actually weakens safety measures for riders and drivers. Uber and Lyft wrote new legal exemptions for themselves into Prop. 22. They aim to make even more money by eliminating required sexual harassment trainings and taking away the right of drivers to file a sexual harassment claim.

“I am voting No on Prop. 22 because the gig economy is built on the premise that workers are simply cogs and easily replaced with thousands of other workers,” says Malinda Morales, member of Oakland Education Association. “Make Uber and Lyft pay their fair share through fair compensation of their workers and stop exploiting our Black and brown workforce. Don’t let gig employers roll back the regulations that protect workers’ rights.”

Uber, Lyft and Doordash wrote Prop. 22 to benefit themselves, not their drivers. If these companies truly wanted to help their drivers, they’d be making sure their workers have the gloves, masks and equipment needed to protect themselves, their families and the public right now — not spending money on buying themselves a new law.

Join the movement to defend gig workers from greedy corporations and vote NO on Prop. 22.