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Gig Workers Won't Be Written Off Either!


Rideshare drivers must have the right to form a union.

Drivers Demand Justice Banner On Landing Page

By Leilani Reed

Hi, I'm Leilani, a home care provider in Los Angeles, CA making an important connection this Care Workers Recognition Month among care workers, farm workers, and gig workers.

The rules were written to keep care workers like me from forming our unions, to intentionally cut us out. With its historic roots in slavery, care jobs (home care, nursing home care and child care) were devalued as "women's work" done mostly by Black and later brown and immigrant women. Laws that protect workers—like New Deal-era minimum wage and overtime laws—intentionally cut us out.

Care workers aren’t alone. For too long, the most vulnerable workers have been written off and written out. But despite the legacy of these systemically racist and sexist laws, workers are joining together in unions and building worker power because racial justice IS economic justice.

As technology and our economy have changed, a new type of worker has emerged, one that’s being cut out just like care and farm workers before them: gig workers. These are the Lyft & Uber drivers who take people from home to work. These workers have become indispensable, but they’re being degraded and exploited by the corporations that hire them. And just like care workers, they are mostly people of color, often immigrants.

Take Uber and Lyft driver Prisell Polanco in Massachusetts: Prisell can work an average of 12 hours a day. That's no side hustle, he’s an essential transportation worker, and he's making less than the state minimum wage of $15/hr. And he's one of many. In his state, 59.7% of rideshare drivers make just $12.82/hr after counting work time and expenses.

Says Prisell: “It is true that drivers like me started driving Uber and Lyft because we could decide our own schedules… but what does flexible mean when drivers like me have to work 10 or 12 hours a day to make ends meet? What does it mean to be flexible when we have spent so much money on purchasing the best car possible, only to see our incomes drop as the apps take more and more money for themselves?”

Join Prisell and 30,000 of his fellow MA rideshare drivers who are fighting for the freedom to form a union, fighting alongside us for racial and economic justice.

Changes like the ones we're pushing challenge structural racism and help us build a more equitable world for our kids … a world where all workers are valued and all people respected no matter where we come from or what our jobs are: care worker, gig worker, or other worker—and no matter if we’re Black, brown, or white.

Demand that elected officials rewrite the rules so that ALL workers have the right to form a union.