Massachusetts voters express strong support during signature gathering effort
CONTACT: Conor Yunits, 857-276-8479, firstname.lastname@example.org
BOSTON, MA – November 16, 2021 – Massachusetts rideshare and delivery drivers and their allies have submitted 260,000 signatures to local town and city clerks in support of a ballot question that would protect flexibility and secure access to new benefits for drivers. Roughly 130,000 signatures have been submitted for each version of the question.
“It feels incredible to have this level of support from voters across the state,” said Prossie Namanda, an Instacart shopper from Waltham, MA. “As a single mother doing this work, I’m so excited to see this progress and am grateful that people in Massachusetts recognize that drivers and shoppers should have the flexibility we want and need, with access to more benefits too.”
All proposed 2022 ballot questions efforts must submit signatures to local town and city clerks by November 17, 2021, for certification. At least 80,239 certified signatures must then be delivered to the Secretary of the Commonwealth by December 1.
Flexibility & Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers ballot question supporters have been submitting signatures to local clerks on a rolling basis. More than 50,000 signatures have already been certified for each version of the question, well in advance of the December 1 deadline. Ballot questions that submit the required number of certified signatures are then introduced to the Legislature for consideration in early 2022.
Included in the Flexibility & Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers ballot question are provisions that would establish an earnings floor equal to 120% of the Massachusetts minimum wage ($18 per hour in 2023 from app-based platforms, before customer tips) for app-based rideshare and delivery drivers, but with unlimited upward earning potential. Drivers would continue to keep 100% of their tips. Rideshare and delivery network companies will be required to pay healthcare stipends for drivers who work at least 15 hours per week, including full stipends equal to 100% of the average employer contribution toward a Health Connector plan premium for those who work an average of 25 hours or more per week. Rideshare and delivery drivers would also earn paid sick time and paid family & medical leave and be provided with on-the-job injury protection.
Without successful passage of a ballot question or a legislative solution, the future of app-based rideshare and delivery could be in jeopardy. A pending lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General is attempting to force app-based drivers into becoming employees, an outcome that drivers have overwhelmingly rejected.
Recent polling shows that 83% of Massachusetts drivers prefer to remain independent contractors while receiving new benefits. By a margin of 7:1, rideshare & delivery drivers in Massachusetts support the proposed ballot questions.