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Words Don’t Lie: Public Statements by AB 5 Supporters Expose Their Real Agenda is to Limit the Number of App-Based Drivers & Jobs Despite Record Unemployment

Groups on record saying: “They need to stop hiring drivers”

Sacramento, CA – Many of the loudest supporters of AB 5 claimed they were representing the interests of app-based rideshare and delivery drivers. However, a new look at their public comments reveals AB 5’s most vocal supporters are really pursuing a different agenda: limiting the number of app-based rideshare and delivery drivers allowed to do this work.

Particularly in today’s economy with unemployment at 16.3 percent in May, every single job matters. But AB 5 advocates want fewer drivers and more Californians without access to these critical opportunities to earn much-needed income.

In their own words

“… they need to stop hiring drivers…” Rideshare Drivers United founder

During a podcast in July 2019, Nicole Moore, organizer and co-founder of Rideshare Drivers United said, “…you have to put a limit on the number of cars in the road…you can’t just keep bringing on, you know, dozens of new drivers every day… they need to stop hiring drivers.”

“… fewer cars on the road…” Gig Workers Rising & Rideshare Drivers United

A May 2019 CityLab article covering protests across the country said Rideshare Drivers United and Gig Workers Rising were asking for “… fewer cars on the road, and a place at the negotiating table.” The article also says that L.A.’s  Rideshare Drivers United has drafted a Rideshare Drivers’ Bill of Rights, outlining demands including a vehicle cap.

“… vehicle caps …” Veena Dubal, Associate Professor, UC Hastings School of Law

In a July 2019 Twitter post, Veena Dubal said New York City regulators should consider imposing vehicle caps on for-hire vehicles. Vehicle caps mean fewer drivers allowed to earn income on app-based platforms.

“… limits to the growth …” Michael Reich, UC Berkeley Institute for Research

In a November 2019 Forbes article, Michael Reich, co-chair of the labor union-funded Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, decried the number of ride-hail vehicles in New York City and said, “…there need to be some limits to the growth.”

“… cap the number of TNC” drivers … Teamsters Union

Teamsters Local 117 lobbied the City of Seattle to cap the number of rideshare drivers allowed to operate on city roads. 

Opponents’ Agenda Will Eliminate Jobs at Worst Possible Time

A major new study confirms an employment model would eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90 percent of drivers currently driving today. These job losses will come at the worst possible time when California is facing high unemployment and when app-based work opportunities will provide a lifeline for people to earn income. In addition, more than 71 percent of app-based drivers want to remain independent contractors, despite efforts by politicians to force them to become employees.

Proposition 22 would ensure driver flexibility, by protecting the ability of California’s one million app-based drivers to choose to work as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits. These include:

Prop 22 improves the quality of app-based work by requiring app-based platforms to provide drivers:

  • Guaranteed minimum earnings, including compensation toward expenses
    • Funding for new health benefits for drivers who work at least 15 hours a week
    • Occupational accident insurance to cover injuries and illnesses on the job
    • Protection against discrimination and sexual harassment

Prop 22 implements strong new public safety protections:

  • Recurring background checks of drivers
    • Mandatory new safety courses for drivers
    • Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses
    • Making it a crime to impersonate a driver


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California Assembly Bill 5

Paid for by Yes on 22 – Save App-Based Jobs & Services: a coalition of on-demand drivers and platforms, small businesses, public safety and community organizations. Committee major funding from Lyft, Uber Technologies, and DoorDash.

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