After California passed a law in 2019 that gave workers the legal status of employees, companies like Uber and Lyft spent about $ 200 million on a voting initiative that released their executives.
To avoid such threats in other states, the companies insisted on legislation classifying managers as contractors, meaning they were not entitled to protection such as a minimum wage and unemployment benefits, Noam Scheiber told The New York Times. Industry officials have estimated that management costs could increase employees to 20 to 30 percent.
While California was considering its bill in 2019, the companies repeatedly met with several major unions, including the International Service Union and the Teamsters, to discuss an agreement. However, the talks collapsed because many in the labor movement refused to make significant concessions while overriding the legislature.
The bill in California was passed in September of that year, but after a voting initiative released by executives was approved last fall, some who were more laborious for a deal became more susceptible. The state of New York, where discussions were already underway, was a natural place to look for one.
The initiative in New York has stalled while the opposition of labor groups faces as the state’s legislative session declines this week. But the effort seems to be reviving, and the negotiations – in which the companies offered to give workers bargaining rights and certain benefits, but not all the protection of employment – have indicated what a final deal in New York and beyond might look like.