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Proposition 22 to decide future of app-based drivers in California

Uber
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Calif. (KION) For thousands of Californians, the car is their office. Companies like Uber, Lyft, Door Dash and Postmates allow workers to sign-on when they are free and sign-off when they are not.

"They may be students who are doing this work to earn some additional income around their class schedules. They may be retirees who have already worked their entire lives. They're not looking for another full time job," said Geoff Vetter with the "Yes on 22" campaign.

Proposition 22 would allow app-based drivers to remain as independent contractors. This allows them to create their own schedules across multiple platforms.

It's this type of flexibility that Vetter sees as a big win. "If you eliminate that flexibility by making them employees, a lot of them would no longer choose to do this type of work," said Better.

Vetter argues that taking away app-based drivers' option to work as independent contractors will lead to longer wait times and skyrocketing prices for customers.

Others argue that independent work allows companies to take advantage of their drivers. "The gigantic, wealthy corporations are trying to avoid paying the basic labor protections and minimum wage that any worker deserves in any industry," said Lyft driver, Edan Alva.

Alva canvased for the "No on 22" campaign at the Monterey Fisherman's Wharf.

He said Proposition 22 would deprive workers like him of basic benefits like sick leave, healthcare and unemployment. He believes these conditions have already put, both, drivers and customers at risk.

"I got sick in January. Because I earn as little as I do, I couldn't save enough to even pay for rent. I had to keep working in order to pay my rent while I was sick," said Alva.

Alva is willing to sacrifice his flexible hours for benefits, he said, big companies are capable of paying. "We have been fighting with these companies for years. We're not going anywhere," said Alva.

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Megan Meier

Megan Meier is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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