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It seems that, in her efforts to improve the lives of poor, overworked, and underpaid ride-share drivers, Mayor Durkan has proposed “wage standards” that the companies will be required to pay all their gig-economy drivers. She reasons that those drivers are probably not earning enough, and are incurring many extra expenses brought on by (government-mandated) Coronavirus protective equipment and procedures, so their employers (See California AB5) must be mandated to pay them more.
Well, in response to that, a group of drivers called Drive Forward (called a rideshare coalition) had this to say:
Drive Forward, a nonprofit representing 2,000 members of the gig economy in the Seattle area, oppose the mayor’s minimum earning proposal, which is set at $16.39 per hour of work, and claim that it will threaten jobs and limit driver flexibility.
Members of the group spoke about how the mayor’s proposal is similar to legislation passed in New York City which has resulted in increased prices and decreased ride activity.
“We would like to see the city of Seattle not just copycat New York, which is an entirely different market than the city of Seattle,” said Michael Wolfe, the executive director of Drive Forward. “[Seattle] should be innovative, they should be thinking of new ways to address these issues.
Many of the drivers expressed how the legislation would take away from their flexibility to drive on their own schedule, which is why they chose to enter the gig economy in the first place.
“As a retired widow living on social security, the beauty of rideshare is the ability to turn on and off the app and decide to drive when and where I want to,” said Beverly Waters, a five-star driver on Lyft. “Mayor Durkan’s problematic legislation will force rideshare companies to impose and manage who is on the road at any given time because they will have to pay for all time and expenses as soon as a driver turns on the app.”
In a typical government-first attitude, the Mayor of Seattle can’t seem to understand that those drivers WANT to be independent contractors, earning what they want, when they want, and not being intent on full-time pay and benefits. I find it encouraging that the drivers are standing up to her, even though she seems to be ignoring them, and will send her requirements to the city council next week.Published in