November 4, 2020

Jobs With Justice Statement on the Passage of Proposition 22 in California


Contact: Nick Voutsinos, Jobs With Justice,, 717-413-7613

Jobs With Justice Statement on the Passage of Proposition 22 in California

Sacramento, CA – Last night, Proposition 22 — a ballot measure in California that sought to legally exempt app companies from providing their drivers with a minimum wage and benefits — reached the voting threshold needed to pass and become law in California. App giants claim this electoral victory after spending over $200 million lifting up Prop 22, the most ever spent on a ballot measure in California history.

Erica Smiley, Jobs With Justice Executive Director and author of The Guardian piece “The racist business model behind Uber and Lyft,” gave the following statement:

“Over a period of several months, app companies — spearheaded by Uber and Lyft — spent $200 million on a barrage of advertisements claiming that most of their drivers use the apps just to make ‘some extra cash on the side.’

“Our own research shows that their narrative is patently false — the majority of app workers’ only source of income comes from the platforms they service, with over 70 percent putting in more than 30 hours per week for these tech companies. And despite putting in full-time hours, we found that as many as 20 percent of drivers were earning zero dollars after expenses. The election results do not change the fact that this a clear case of wage theft.

“For this reason, we cannot, and we will not, ever stop fighting on behalf of app workers until they get what they have earned — fair pay and benefits.

“We recognize that we continue to have a long fight ahead of us — app companies like Uber and Lyft have proven that they are willing to spend whatever it takes to avoid providing their drivers with basic employee benefits. This sets a dangerous precedent for when similar measures get on the ballot elsewhere. But make no mistake, if these companies can afford to spend $200 million on campaign ads, they can afford to provide their drivers benefits — and we will continue to make that point loud and clear.”

If you are interested in interviewing Jobs With Justice Executive Director Erica Smiley, please send your request via email to Follow @jwjnational on Twitter for more updates.


Jobs With Justice is the country’s leading nonprofit in the fight for workplace and economic democracy. Comprising of a national network of local affiliates in nearly every state, Jobs With Justice brings together coalitions composed of unions, worker organizations, community groups, students, and faith institutions to win concrete improvements in people’s lives.

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