Congress, in a political payoff to unions, have again introduced legislation to effectively make gig economy jobs like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc. illegal. The difference this time is that since they now control the House, Senate, and the Presidency it could very well pass. The legislation is modeled after the gig killing bill that was passed in California and that was later overturned via initiative by the people. Unfortunately, at the national level there is no initiative process to overturn Congress.
Despite the job-killing nature of the bill the Democrat’s press release sings its praises:
“Top Democrats Introduce Bill to Protect Workers’ Right to Organize and Make our Economy Work for Everyone. Legislation addresses growing income inequality by protecting workers’ right to join a union and negotiate for higher wages and better benefits.”
The House bill was introduced by House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA-02).
The Senate bill was introduced by Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
The bill mimics the California bill which Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said would effectively end Uber as we know it in California. The company is already losing money and it would be impossible for it to pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour plus benefits to all of its 1 million drivers. It also begs the question, does the Democrat party not realize that the very people who love Uber and who are independent contractors for Uber probably are also majority Democrat voters? After all, the gig economy was popularized by liberal San Francisco based Uber itself.
Without an initiative process at the national level, the only way to keep the millions of gig jobs alive and to keep rideshare and food delivery readily available would be for their voters to vote the majority party out of office. There really is no middle ground here. In the meantime, if this bill passes Congress and is signed by Biden the gig economy will become illegal.