As pandemic restrictions loosen, drivers who bore the brunt of pandemic healthcare impacts to rally at new Uber offices. Recent data spotlights the precarious situation drivers find themselves in, as 86% of surveyed workers find themselves ineligible for healthcare stipend and 29% of surveyed workers report having no health insurance at all
CALIFORNIA – On May 25, rideshare and delivery drivers with advocacy groups We Drive Progress and the Mobile Workers Alliance will take to the streets in San Francisco and Los Angeles as part of a statewide day of action calling out wealthy gig companies like Uber, DoorDash, Instacart, and others for their failure to follow through on the promises of Prop 22.
In Los Angeles, gig workers will caravan and rally outside of Uber’s new hub in Historic Filipinotown. Drivers will detail the challenges they’ve faced in attempting to receive the promised Prop 22 healthcare stipend, with examples of the exorbitant medical bills they’ve accrued due to the lack of support from their employers.
Drivers are calling on gig companies to honor the promises of the Prop 22 campaign and automatically disburse health insurance stipends to all drivers who met the minimum requirements for engaged time working.
Meanwhile, Uber has been taking heat over a recent report detailing their extreme efforts to hide their profitability and shelter themselves from their tax obligations, in a scheme that Business Insider called the “Champions League of tax avoidance.” That story claims that despite earning $5.8 billion in global revenues in 2019, Uber claimed a $4.5 billion loss for tax purposes.
WHAT: Rally and protest by gig workers at Uber’s new Los Angeles Hub
WHO: Gig workers with Mobile Workers Alliance
WHEN: Tuesday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: 2417 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles
VISUALS: Caravan of drivers through MacArthur Park, drivers sharing stories at a podium and chanting, posters of exorbitant medical bills and key findings of a recent driver healthcare survey
This day of action comes on the heels of a recently-released statewide survey conducted by Tulchin Research, which details the dire and precarious circumstances that gig economy workers find themselves in:
- 86% of surveyed drivers are ineligible for Prop 22 Healthcare Stipend
- 29% of surveyed drivers report having no health insurance
- 31% of surveyed drivers rely on Medi-CAL for Health Insurance
- 66% of surveyed drivers agree “My app-based employer doesn’t care about me”
Platforms have created barriers to accessing the healthcare stipend that are not mandated by Prop 22, the ballot measure gig companies spent a record-breaking $220 million to pass last year. This has left tens of thousands of uninsured or working-poor drivers without the promised and heavily-publicized healthcare stipend that Californians voted for last November.
Drivers also report mass confusion regarding the healthcare benefit, with 66% reporting they had not been given enough information from their employers about how to even apply for the stipend, and 60% reporting they have not been given adequate information about which drivers are eligible.
“I’m the person that Californians thought they were helping when they voted yes on Prop 22. I’m a working mom trying to provide for my family,” said Neide Tameirão, an Uber and Lyft driver based in Irvine. “According to Uber, I’m too poor to be eligible for a health insurance stipend. I worked all of the engaged hours required for the stipend, but because I’m on Medi-Cal, I’m not eligible to receive it.”
“When I heard about the healthcare stipend that the gig companies are offering to drivers as part of Prop 22, I was excited. Last year, the gig companies advertised Proposition 22 would give drivers great new benefits. Some voters supported Prop 22 because they thought drivers would be given healthcare. I don’t trust that gig companies care about drivers, but I thought healthcare benefits were a step in the right direction,” said Jorge Orisontes, an Uber and Lyft driver from Sacramento who drives mostly in the Bay Area.
We Drive Progress and Mobile Workers Alliance
We Drive Progress and Mobile Workers Alliance are a movement of app-based workers behind the wheel of every rideshare trip across California. We are part of a coalition of over 24,000 drivers statewide who are responsible for the billions that companies like Uber, Lyft, and their investors pocket every year. We’re uniting to win our union and a better life for ourselves and our loved ones.
Contact: Kyle Gregory: 213-595-2835 or Kyle.Gregory@seiu721.orgDownload PDF