BY EDWARD ONGWESO — MARCH 4, 2021
“On Thursday, app-based drivers are rallying at the Massachusetts State House in opposition to a bill that they say is a clone of Prop 22, the California ballot initiative funded by gig companies that carved out an exemption from following state labor laws.
Massachusetts Bill HD2582, also known as “An Act establishing portable benefit accounts for app-based drivers,” ostensibly provides portable benefits for app-based drivers, but includes a few additional sections which workers say will offer scraps instead of rights and benefits drivers need.
‘It’s a massive restriction of drivers’ rights disguised within the shell of some insignificant portable benefits,’ said Henry De Groot, executive director of the Boston Independent Drivers Guild (BIDG), which is organizing the protest. ‘The same thing happened with Prop 22—obviously the companies can’t go to the public and explicitly say ‘we want to take drivers rights away.’ They have to include some handout, but look at California: UC Berkley found that the California wage guarantee was worth $5.54.'”
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