Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, March 26, 2020

As part of the bipartisan deal Senate leaders and the White House struck early Wednesday, unemployment benefits will be extended to groups including gig economy workers, per a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Why it matters: This is an unprecedented expansion of benefits to gig economy workers, who have been classified as independent contractors instead of employees by ride-hailing and food delivery companies, among others. Flashback: On Monday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sent a letter to President Trump, asking government to include gig economy workers in the stimulus bill. On Friday, Khosrowshahi spoke with Schumer, and had reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (though it's unclear if they spoke).

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I understand payments can be up to $600 per week, based on average pay. Since I independently contract with Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Favor and Caviar (and soon Amazon Flex.) I often, as even the president of Uber acknowledged that most drivers do in his letter to Congress and the President, log into Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Favor all at the same time and simply accept the first desirable ride or delivery and log out of the others until the ride or delivery is complete (we are under NO obligation on any of the platforms to accept ANY ride or delivery request...I often deny low paying deliveries--until now I am accepting ALL because people are needing food.) The letter the president of Uber acknowledged that although we have been seeking benefits we in NO WAY want to be employees because it simply won't work for either us drivers or the companies we contract with.

Why wouldn't it work?

Well first of all, most of us have odd hours of availability...impossible to "schedule" hours. But second of all, from both the companies and us, it is impossible to schedule. The demand for rides, food and groceries changes month to month, day to day, hour to hour, and sometimes minute to minute.

Examples... A college fraternity decide to throw a big party. Suddenly there is a huge need for rides and food and booze (Favor and Doordash deliver liquor and beer.) When this happens, Uber and Doordash and Favor will jack the prices up because suddenly there aren't enough drivers...it is called a surge and it is what we LIVE for as drivers. Suddenly short five minute rides are worth $20 or even more for about an hour or so. Other times what is usually a busy time is dead. There is NO way a company could have employees to handle that. And we wouldn't want to be scheduled when there's no rides. PLUS if we were employees we couldn't work for several companies AT THE SAME TIME.

Finally the president of Uber ALSO petitioned the government to make NEW laws allowing gig economy contractors to get FULL BENEFITS INCLUDING HEALTH INSURANCE AND RETIREMENT as if they were employees. This would solve everything.

So praise to Uber who used to be a very unethically run company. The new CEO who replaced the piece of schitt one a couple of years ago, has done amazing things. Including offering us drivers free pay if we get quarantined (whatever our average week is will be the pay.)

And it is an example of how free enterprise CAN do good things and CAN cooperate with government programs.

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Frankly, I think employers of contract workers should have to pay into unemployment for them. Not to mention all the other things they pay for full time workers. It is just a way they skate the system to profit.

#1 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2020-03-26 08:07 AM | Reply

What this demonstrates is compassion from the rest of us who are employed, pay payroll taxes, etc. I totally sympathize with the contractors working for Uber, etc. but I do not sympathize with the companies that exploit them for cheap labor without responsiblities. It should be illegal to hire contractors to do work which should be done by employees. Their profits are more important than the profits of taxi companies who do have to pay drivers as employees? The business model for Uber, Lyft, etc. is an insult to employers who pay SS taxes, unemployment compensation, etc. and it just should not be allowed. I'll gladly pay a few dollars more for a ride to put these vultures out of business.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2020-03-26 08:08 AM | Reply

The business model for Uber, Lyft, etc. is an insult to employers who pay SS taxes, unemployment compensation, etc. and it just should not be allowed.

1099 employees pay the same taxes as everyone else, the difference being is that they pay them themselves instead of their employers - who pay them the full gross of their earnings.

And since the "employer's" 1099 form goes to the government, contract workers cannot avoid their payroll tax responsibilities. 1099 employees have the option of paying for unemployment and workers' comp insurance if they want to, and then retain eligibility for benefits under the same rules as W-2 employees.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-03-26 08:31 AM | Reply

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