FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 18, 2019 – 12:00 PM
Contact: Mike Long, (213) 304-9777
Roxane Marquez, (213) 705-1078
L.A. UBER AND LYFT DRIVERS TO CELEBRATE HISTORIC AB5 LAW
Drivers who traveled nearly 1,000 miles across California to push for passage of AB5 will gather Wednesday to celebrate this milestone victory for gig workers; Drivers laud AB5 as bold first step in combating Uber and Lyft’s continued exploitation and misclassification of drivers, vow to continue fighting for a strong, driver-led union
LOS ANGELES — Uber and Lyft Drivers who participated in the Mobile Workers Alliance rideshare pilgrimage last month will come together to celebrate their movement that helped move AB5 toward becoming law. The celebratory luncheon and media availability on Wednesday will take place in Los Angeles at noon.
Thousands of rideshare drivers from LA came together with drivers from Northern California to push the State Legislature to pass AB 5, which corrects the misclassification of rideshare drivers and greatly expands their employment rights, including a minimum wage, benefits, and basic job protections.
“By coming together thousands of drivers strong, we have been able to send this landmark legislation to the Governor’s desk for signature. By making AB5 the law Governor Gavin Newsom, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, and the strong majority of legislators have put the California dream closer into reach for us,” said Uber driver Linda Valdivia. “We work long hours, most of us more than five days a week, AB5 takes us a step closer to being able to work hard and care for our families. We celebrate our progress today and know we will need to continue our fight forward to ensure AB5 is implemented and enforced and for a path to a worker-led union.”
In August, hundreds of rideshare drivers from the Los Angeles area traveled nearly 1,000 miles across California in support of AB5, stopping in Delano, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento. Throughout the journey, drivers demanded that lawmakers both pass the bill, which ends the widespread misclassification of so-called gig workers and entitles them to basic labor rights, and also create a pathway to a union for drivers.
“For workers like us, who have no basic pay or protections AB 5 becoming law is an historic victory and a path to something real that is better than the status quo,” said Mike Robinson. “While Uber and Lyft continue to find ways to avoid laws protecting workers and taxpayers, we are laser focused on growing our movement to make sure AB5 is implemented and enforced to give us the change we need. Across the Golden state we will continue to push for the state, cities, and labor to work together to hold these billion-dollar bullies accountable and to deliver gig workers the same protections afforded to other workers in California.
At the luncheon, drivers will speak about their movement and discuss how they can continue organizing and speaking out to fight back against Uber and Lyft’s attempts to upend AB5 and to achieve union rights for gig workers.
WHAT: Media availability and luncheon with Mobile Workers Alliance drivers celebrating passage of AB 5
WHO: Uber and Lyft drivers who have been organizing for AB5 and for a path to a worker-led union
WHEN: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
WHERE: Panaderia y Restaurante Chapines, 1520 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
VISUALS: Uber and Lyft drivers celebrating and delivering remarks on the passage of AB5, pro-union signage and banners
Rideshare drivers throughout California and in Los Angeles County have been organizing for living wages, benefits, and the right to form a union at the same time as Assembly Bill (AB-5) made its way through the State Legislature. AB-5, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and championed by the Mobile Workers Alliance, corrects the misclassification of rideshare drivers and greatly expands their employment rights, including a minimum wage, benefits, and basic job protections. Drivers have 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 consistently through the 2018-2019 Legislative Session.
The motor pilgrimage followed shortly on the heels of 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 for Uber and Lyft drivers. AB 5 will correct the classification of rideshare drivers and make it clear that they are subject to California wage and hour laws. A recent study on rideshare drivers conducted by the UCLA Labor Center 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 mandates that gig companies 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.
When the bill passed the state senate, Uber legal spokesperson Tony West publicly declared that his company had no intention of reclassifying drivers and claimed that they are not part of the company’s “usual course” of business.