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BOSTON, MA – September 29, 2021 – California and Massachusetts drivers reacted strongly today in response to debunked claims from a union-affiliated Berkley, California think tank.
“They already tried this misleading propaganda in California and it was rightly dismissed by drivers and voters,” said Lydia Olson, who drives with Uber in California. “The best thing about rideshare driving is you can start and stop anytime you want. Who would keep driving if it didn’t make financial sense for them? The vast majority of drivers take steps to maximize their income like understanding when and where to drive, using multiple apps to choose the best jobs, putting themselves in places to get better rides and much more. This ‘study’ is nonsense from a special interest thinktank. I hope that Massachusetts voters will support what drivers REALLY want, which is the flexibility to earn an income in a way that makes sense for us, without interference from those who do not understand our industry and are seeking to destroy it and the livelihoods of tens of thousands of us who rely on it.”
“These numbers are completely ridiculous – I wouldn’t be doing this job if I wasn’t making well above minimum wage,” said Luis Ramos, a Lyft driver from Worcester. “Every driver I know prefers this work because they make good money and they do it whenever they want for however long they want. That’s what we’re trying to protect with this ballot question.”
The questionable statistics, pushed by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, are far from an independent look at rideshare data. According to CalMatters, “The Legislature created the UC labor center, supported by taxpayer dollars, at the behest of union leaders to supply studies and data promoting union membership.” Report author Michael Reich has spoken at labor rallies and has had his objectivity called into question because of his close ties to organized labor.
The group’s earlier report on California’s Prop 22, was debunked when it was released back in 2019. Like in California, opponents of the Massachusetts ballot question, which would protect driver independence and flexibility while creating historic new benefits, have continued to push false and misleading information about the ballot question that are not only at odds with the facts, but don’t stand up to scrutiny when compared with the success of Prop 22 in California.
- Fact: Massachusetts ballot question secures the overwhelmingly popular flexibility that app-based rideshare and delivery drivers currently enjoy. The ballot question will ensure that rideshare and delivery drivers can continue to work whenever they want, wherever they want, as long as they want, with as many platforms as they want.
- Fact: The Massachusetts ballot question explicitly states that drivers would earn at least 120% of minimum wage plus pay to cover mileage and vehicle expenses. Unlike employees, drivers also receive tips on top of this guaranteed wage, which makes this a higher earnings floor than offered in countless other industries.
- Fact: the Massachusetts ballot question provides historic new benefits, including healthcare stipends, paid sick time, paid family & medical leave, and occupational accident insurance.