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California’s AB5, the law that is in the process of destroying the gig economy in the state, has a newly announced supporter. Former Vice President and Democratic nomination frontrunner Joe Biden Tweeted Saturday that he supports the law. Ironically, his Tweet included a link to a story that makes a pretty solid case why it should be repealed.
Over a million Californians signed a petition in just seven weeks for a ballot measure that would exempt certain independent contractors from being forced to abide by the new law. Drivers and couriers such as those working with Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash are seeking the exemption. They enjoy both the freedom of being independent contractors as well as the security of knowing they will not lose their income if their companies decide to abandon or constrict in the state.
I support #AB5 in California, which will give workers the dignity they deserve in the workplace. I agree with @transportworker that we can't let corporations undermine basic rights by adding these exemptions to ground-breaking legislation. https://t.co/bouzgRLBU7
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 7, 2020
AB5 is a product of California Democrats and their allegiance to Big Labor. The measure has been sold as a way to protect gig employees even though a majority of those affected never asked for those protections. The reality is this is a play for labor bosses who want people forced into employee relationships with companies, thus expanding Big Labor’s control over the workforce. But repercussions have already been felt ranging from canceled 40-year-old concerts to freelance writers shunned by publications across the country.
Biden is obviously signaling labor unions to support his campaign. It’s conspicuous that he only made his endorsement of AB5 AFTER the California primary. Leading up to the primary, it would have been a concern as many of the Democrats who voted last Tuesday have been affected or know people who have been affected by the plan. Biden’s top competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders, has been a labor union darling but has hit some opposition from reliable union source over is push for Medicare-for-All. Fighting for better healthcare benefits is a staple of labor unions, so Sanders’ plan would take away one of their most important negotiating tools.
If Biden plans to embrace AB5-style policies as president, it could help spread the disastrous legislation nationwide. That would be disastrous for companies like Uber and Lyft. It would also harm those who drive for the companies by forcing them to either become employees or seek revenue elsewhere. Meanwhile, the companies would likely have to increase their rates to make up the losses they’ll accumulate as a result. In other words, everyone from the companies to drivers to consumers themselves would be negatively impacted. all for the sake of making Big Labor happy.
AB5 hurts companies. It hurts employees and independent contractors. It raises prices for consumers. The only people who benefited from it were Democratic politicians and Big Labor bosses. That’s why Biden supports it. His buddies benefit from the losses to he people.
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