The PROAct may not seem as threatening as it appeared a couple weeks ago, but there is still a major push to change the status of 59 Million Gig Workers in the United States (that is 33% of the U.S. workforce).   U.I. benefits are also being pulled on gig workers in 20 states, as of right now!   Here are the stories we rounded up on the Memorial Day:
  • New York1 Spectrum News:  “Currently, the gig workers have no voice in their workplace. No voice to negotiate pay or benefits of workplace policies,” said state Sen. Diane Savino, whose district covers parts of Staten Island. “And I have been taking about this issue for several years now. The world of work is changing, and labor law has not caught up to technology and how it has changed the world of work.”   But it’s not just delivery workers. It’s also Uber and Lyft drivers and other contract workers considered part of the gig economy….. [read full article]
  • CBS NEWS:   Without PUA, self-employed workers in those states will be stripped of all jobless aid. The temporary program was designed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, to provide support for a growing group of nontraditional workers in America’s gig economy, who don’t otherwise qualify for regular unemployment aid. To be sure, the governors of those states ending the PUA program also are cutting the extra $300 in weekly benefits directed at millions of other jobless workers who lost their positions with employers. However, many of those workers will continue to qualify for traditional state jobless aid. Not so with self-employed workers….. [read full article]
  • COMPUTERWORLD:    Gig workers give employers unprecedented flexibility in marshaling human resources, but to maximize value, companies need to think of contingent workers as extensions of their full-time workforce rather than disposable piece parts. This attitude change will only become more important as gig labor becomes more entrenched—a trend that has accelerated in the last year from business’ growing comfort level in hiring remote workers….. [read full article]
  • Reuters:   U.S. President Joe Biden wants to boost the budget of a Department of Labor unit that investigates whether gig workers are misclassified as independent contractors and thus missing out on benefits they are entitled to.   The White House on Friday unveiled a $6 trillion budget proposal that would ramp up spending on infrastructure, education and combating climate change, arguing it makes good fiscal sense to invest now, when the cost of borrowing is cheap, and reduce deficits later….. [read full article]
  • The Guardian:   A huge controversy has erupted among labor unions after several unions joined with Uber and Lyft to develop legislation in New York state that would deliver on one of labor’s major goals: giving many gig workers a quick path to unionization.   The legislation would make good on another labor objective: allowing industrywide bargaining for gig workers, specifically the roughly 250,000 app-based drivers and food delivery workers in New York….. [read full article]
  • LoudounNow:   One of the greatest threats to America’s economic recovery and future growth is currently being debated in Congress. The PRO Act, a bill which seeks to undermine workers’ rights to privacy and free association, would create a one-size-fits-all rewrite of labor laws in 50 states, hurting workers across the United States, including here in Loudoun County.   First, the PRO Act would eliminate Right-To-Work laws in all states, ending the sacred protection of a worker’s freedom to choose to join a union or not. Repealing Right-To-Work would force employees to either pay union dues or be fired, whether they wish to be represented by the union or not….. [read full article]
  • American Prospect:    OSHA isn’t just deterred by a lack of will, but a series of design flaws that will take either substantial agency creativity or legislative action to remedy. The fact that an accelerated emergency standard was needed to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace recognizes that OSHA’s ongoing tools, resources, and standards are woefully inadequate. The Protecting America’s Workers Act could be revolutionary; the same factors that would lead to its success would run parallel to conditions that would bode well for workers’ rights broadly in America. Its success would demonstrate that government holds the convictions required to successfully take care of workers in this country….. [read full article]
  • New York Daily News:    Everywhere from the House-passed PRO Act, which would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to make the process for forming a union fairer and available to misclassified freelancers, to the California legislature’s attempts to plug the holes in the current NLRA by properly classifying gig workers as statutory employees with rights, the app bosses try to codify a third class of worker lacking both the agency to set their own price and hours of labor like a traditional independent contractor and the ability to form democratic unions of their own choosing to bargain — and, potentially, strike — over the working conditions that the app bosses dictate….. [read full article]
  • Jacobin:    Lyft, Uber, and other allied gig work companies are reportedly nearing a deal with New York state legislators and labor leaders that would allow tech giants to continue classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees, and would prohibit newly unionized workers from “any picketing, strikes, slow downs, or boycotts,” according to leaked language of the state bill.   The potential legislation comes as companies led by Lyft and Uber have engaged in a multi-year, multi-million-dollar political influence campaign in the state and cultivated deep ties to New York Democrats. Their efforts could lead to a radical reshaping of labor relations in a state that has long been a labor stronghold….. [read full article]

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! &

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