This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 18 , 2020:
The ruling denying injunctive relief to Uber and Postmates and their drivers from California’s onerous, and likely unconstitutional, law AB 5 by Obama-appointed judge Dolly Gee last week illustrates why such judges holding for unions and the state need to be replaced.
The bill was supported by unions and the state of California for obvious reasons. The unions hated the competition, and the state needed the tax revenues that would be generated by turning freelancers into employees.
Proponents said gig workers would benefit from minimum-wage laws imposed on employees, and they would now have sick-leave coverage and unemployment insurance, along with other benefits. And the state would gain an estimated $8 billion from payroll taxes that gig operators such as Uber and Postmates and their independent contractors weren’t currently paying.
Opponents pointed out the obvious: Most gig workers don’t want to be employees. Most like the freedom associated with the gig economy, such as setting their own hours. And customers and consumers enjoy the better service and lower costs associated with services such as Uber and Postmates when compared to taxi drivers and FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service. They predicted that once the law became effective on January 1, many of those freelancers would be out of work.
It’s already happening.
As The New American pointed out, Vox Media (which interestingly supported AB 5) has canceled its contracts with about 200 freelance writers and replaced them with just 20 new part-time and full-time employees.
Thomas Cushman, a commercial fisherman, has seen the law force his business to stop paying his crew: