Media Advisory for August 26, 2019 – 2:00 PM
Contact: Coral Itzcalli, (213)321-7332
Roxane Marquez, (213) 705-1078
HISTORIC 3-DAY MOTOR PILGRIMAGE IN SUPPORT OF UNION RIGHTS FOR UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS MAKES A STOP IN DELANO EN ROUTE TO THE CAPITOL
Hundreds of Uber and Lyft Drivers en route to Sacramento from Los Angeles will make a symbolic stop in Delano to meet with United Farm Workers members at the historic Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
Delano, CA — Drawing on the inspiration of the United Farm Workers (UFW), who made a 340-mile pilgrimage to Sacramento in 1966 to raise national awareness on the plight of farmworkers, Uber and Lyft drivers fighting a present-day version of this historic chapter in labor history will roll into town for a powerful worker exchange.
The 3-day motor pilgrimage originating in Los Angeles will be making its way through Delano, Fresno, San Francisco, and Oakland to continue sounding the alarm on the plight of Uber and Lyft drivers — the dangerously long hours, the lack of basic workplace protections because of misclassification, and the inability of workers to unionize.
Uber and Lyft drivers organizing with Mobile Workers Alliance (MWA) and Gig Workers Rising (GWR) are currently organizing to push the State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom to sign landmark legislation that would bring lasting changes to rideshare industry and “gig economy,” just as the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 did for farmworkers. Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and championed by the Mobile Workers Alliance, seeks to correctly classify rideshare drivers as employees and greatly expand their rights as employees, including a living wage, benefits, and basic job protections.
The historic 3-day motor pilgrimage is forging ahead right as AB 5 moves through the California State Senate.
WHAT: Press conference and media availability with Uber and Lyft drivers making historic trek up to the State Capitol in support of employee rights and a union.
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers, United Farm Workers, Gig Workers, Clergy, and Community Allies
WHEN: Monday, August 26, 2019 at 2PM
WHERE: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; 1015 Clinton St., Delano, CA 93215
VISUALS: Uber and Lyft driver vehicles with car flags and signs, flags and banners with United Farm Workers insignia, special rosaries and other religious symbols, and super-sized floating banners demanding “AB 5 and a Union” and “Unions for All.”
Rideshare drivers throughout California have been organizing for living wages, benefits, and the right to form a union at the same time as Assembly Bill (AB 5) makes its way through the State Legislature. Throughout the 2018-2019 Legislative Session, drivers have also consistently urged state lawmakers to take even further action to ensure drivers secure a pathway to collectively bargain with Uber and Lyft through a driver-led union.
The motor pilgrimage arrives on the heels MWA drivers compelling the City of El Monte to become the first City in the United States to move forward to a $30/hr. wage of Uber and Lyft drivers. As it currently stands, rideshare drivers are misclassified as “independent contractors” by gig economy giants like Uber and Lyft, and forced to cover the companies’ costs of ferrying riders back and forth. A recent study on rideshare drivers conducted by the Economic Policy Institute pegged the average hourly wage for Uber drivers at $9.21 after driving expenses—an amount far below LA County’s minimum wage.
Assembly Bill 5, which is predicted to reach the governor’s desk in the fall, would force gig companies to correctly classify drivers as employees. The bill has been met with open resistance by Uber and Lyft, as well as the California Chamber of Commerce, while driver organizing groups like Mobile Workers Alliance and Gig Workers Rising have been campaigning across the state in support of the bill.
“Our Delano stop is poised to be amongst the most powerful and moving leg of our pilgrimage,” says Uber driver and MWA leader Linda Valdivia. “We carry the farmworkers’ fight led by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and countless other labor heroes from the Central Valley, close to our hearts as a shining example of what workers can do to bring economic justice to an industry without it.”
“As we organize the future of gig work, we cannot ignore the blueprint laid out for us here in the fields of the Central Valley decades ago. The road to economic justice for Uber and Lyft drivers is the road to unionization.”
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