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Future of gig economy at stake in state Supreme Court hearing on Prop. 22

The future of the gig economy may rest on arguments made Tuesday in the state Supreme Court over a 2020 voter-approved ballot measure that classifies ride-hailing drivers and other app workers as independent contractors.

Drivers for Uber, Lyft and other gig companies from across the state were set to rally in San Francisco to show their opposition to Proposition 22, which was sponsored by the big gig companies and passed by voters in 2020.

The measure passed with 59% of the vote.

One ride-hailing driver that has been working in the sector for eight years says he has seen things change. He says what is offered in Prop. 22 is not enough to protect contract workers like drivers, and he believes it is simply unconstitutional.

“If there was a $10 fare, Uber and Lyft before they started with $2 for what they do, which is the background stuff, the leadership and the software,” John Mejia said. “Now, if that’s a $10 fare, Uber and Lyft take $7-$8, and the driver gets $2.”

A company spokesperson for Uber said if the California Supreme Court reverses the appellate court’s decision, drivers and couriers would be forced to work shifts, and prices for trips and deliveries would increase substantially.

“Forced employment would be devastating for the thousands of drivers and couriers who turn to Uber for flexible work and the millions of Californians who would see major service reductions and cost increases—or lose ridesharing and food delivery entirely,” Uber said in a statement. “We are confident that the Supreme Court will listen to the will of California voters and uphold Prop. 22.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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