Mighetto is on the front line of a battle over not just the future of Uber but the gig economy itself. The app-based casual-work industry has become a force in the modern economy. The conflict will come to a head in nine days when a powerful coalition of five gig-economy giants, led by Uber, attempts to rewrite employment law in California. The five have ploughed an astonishing $195m into the campaign.
The companies claim their proposal will ensure flexible working for millions. An oddity of California politics means that if you can gather 623,000 signatures from the state population of 40 million, you can put any measure you want on the ballot. Voters will decide on Proposition 22, as the gig-economy measure is known, on November 3 — the same day they choose the next US president.
If approved, the move would exempt app-based services from a law, passed in 2018 and put into effect in January, that requires them to treat their workers as employees, guaranteeing higher wages and benefits such as paid holidays.
We might even suggest that Uber et al are just trying to return employment law to where it was three years ago.
This new law, as an example, says that if I were to write a column for a California newspaper – you know, normal weekly stuff – then I would have to be an employee of that newspaper or magazine. The idea that freelancing should be banned being more than a little odd…..