Why do gig workers struggle while their billionaire bosses get richer? Follow the money and political donations behind the exploitation.
Keith Ellison and DC sue Target-owned Shipt delivery service for worker misclassification.
Biden wants to let gig workers be employees. Here’s why it matters. The Labor Department has proposed a rule that would make it easier for delivery drivers, janitors, construction workers and other independent contractors to be considered employees, granting them access to benefits and federal labor protections. – Washington Post
“Misclassification deprives workers of their federal labor protections, including their right to be paid their full, legally earned wages. Employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors, particularly among our nation’s most vulnerable workers,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.
Follow the money
How Target/Shipt exploits workers
Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison said Target/Shipt controls “virtually every facet of a shopper’s work” despite claiming the workers are independent. “Unlike other employees, these workers have no clarity on how much they will be paid day to day, and they often don’t receive the minimum wage and overtime they’re entitled to,” he added. The suits seek to recover paid sick leave owed, unpaid wages, payments owed for unemployment insurance, penalties and more. Other delivery companies including DoorDash have faced similar actions, and Instacart recently agreed to pay $46.5 million in a settlement with the city of San Diego over misclassified workers. Earlier this year, Massachusetts sued Uber and Lyft for identifying drivers as contractors. – Engadget/Yahoo
Labor unions and progressive economists have long advocated against conditions in the gig economy, saying that gig companies not only exploit workers, but also threaten to erode or have already eroded working conditions for workers across the economy. A 2020 survey of gig workers found that about 1 in 7 such workers make an hourly rate less than the federal minimum wage of merely $7.25 an hour. They are also more susceptible to wage theft: over 60 percent of respondents reported losing earnings due to an inability to clock in or out, compared with about 20 percent of service sector employees.
Corporations in the gig economy have saddled their business models on paying their workers as little as possible, with companies like Amazon and DoorDash going as far as to steal workers’ tips. These corporations are desperate to keep the status quo for gig workers; in California, gig companies spent over $200 million on their campaign to pass Prop 22 in 2020, a ruling that allowed them to keep workers from accessing employee benefits.
Workers deserve a living wage, health benefits and safety
“This is a long-awaited determination that will empower essential workers to assert their basic wage and hour, health and safety, and compensation rights,” Patricia Campos-Medina, who directs the Worker Institute at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, told The Washington Post. “All workers are entitled to these rights, but employers easily avoid them by making arbitrary decisions on independent contractor rules.” – Truthout
Dark money donations to Republicans
- Walmart – According to OpenSecrets.org, Walmart made about $4.8 million in political contributions in 2019. That is in addition to the more than $6.4 million given away in lawmaker lobbying efforts during that same year. Trump himself was the largest single recipient of Walmart donations in 2019. – Newsweek
- Amazon – Amazon quietly donated $400,000 to a conservative nonprofit last year as the group pushed back on antitrust bills being considered in Congress. The Independent Women’s Forum, a 501(c)(3) organization, received the six-figure contribution from the e-commerce giant in 2021, the same year the group wrote columns speaking out against bills that could strengthen antitrust enforcement. – CNBC
- Target – Shipt – Target Corp. defended the use of its new freedom to spend money on political campaigns as employees and gay organizations criticized a $150,000 donation that will help a Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate who opposes gay marriage. – NBC News
Vote for your freedom to earn a living wage, healthcare and democracy
This election is a clear choice, between Americans who work for a living and care for our families, and Trump Republicans who incite violence and try to take away our freedoms. Most Americans want to provide for our families and create a better future for our kids, but Trump Republicans hand kickbacks to corporations and block every bill to lower costs, deliver clean energy and create good jobs.
From our freedom to decide if and when we grow our families, to our freedom to vote, to our freedom for our families to thrive, Trump Republicans want to control us, use violence to overthrow elections, and block the policies we favor. Americans work hard to provide for our families. But Trump Republicans rigged the rules and now try to blame Black, brown, and new Americans, hoping we won’t join together to demand what all of our families need. In 2020, we defeated Trump. This November, we will defeat Trumpism. As voters, we decide what’s possible. – WeDecide22
TakeAway: Vote for Democrats.
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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.
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