The Honorable Karen Spilka
24 Beacon St. Room 332, Boston, MA 02133
The Honorable Ronald Mariano
Speaker of the House
24 Beacon St. Room 356, Boston, MA 02133
Senate President Spilka and Speaker Mariano:
As lawmakers continue a busy legislative session, we are writing to ask for your help with the future of rideshare and delivery drivers. If successful, a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General could force app-based drivers to become employees, ending the flexibility and independence that allows them to drive for as many different companies as they want, when they want, and how often they want.
Despite what some special interest groups have claimed, this independence and flexibility doesn’t exist in the traditional job market and this lawsuit could strip these earning opportunities away from hundreds of thousands of app-based drivers, most of whom drive less than 10 hours a week. These drivers are students, retirees, single moms, small business owners, and individuals that drive to earn extra income.
But this isn’t just about the drivers. It’s about our members — the thousands of restaurants and businesses that count on app-based drivers to bring customers to their businesses, employees to and from work, and food to our doorsteps. Very often the top ten destinations for rideshare trips in cities across the state include supermarkets, hospitals, and pharmacies. Rideshare and delivery drivers are a vital part of our local and regional economies.
Drivers in your district and throughout Massachusetts consistently and repeatedly say they want to keep the flexibility they are afforded as independent contractors, with 85% recently saying they want to remain independent while earning new benefits. But despite what drivers say, special interest groups are pushing their own agenda, usurping the voice of drivers, and trying to force them to become employees against their will.
A coalition of 12,200 drivers, business leaders, and other prominent community voices has proposed legislation that would resolve this issue, delivering new benefits and protections for drivers while preserving the independence and flexibility that has helped drivers and small businesses thrive. H.1848 and H.961 are supported by large majorities of drivers, small businesses, and community leaders because they secure the flexibility and independence drivers demand, while also providing new benefits and protections. The economic fallout of not acting will be devastating to small businesses, the consumers they serve, our already fragile transportation system, and our state’s reputation as an innovative place to do business.
Throughout the past two years, labor groups in Massachusetts have advanced the unproven narrative that rideshare and delivery drivers could enjoy the same level of freedom and flexibility they enjoy now, even if they were employees of various platform companies. These union leaders, however, have yet to provide any examples of any industry where this kind of flexibility exists in an employment context. In short, they are selling a dangerous fantasy that could devastate thousands of lives by destroying this valuable source of flexible, supplemental income.
These bills can be part of a conversation with lawmakers on a solution that will work for drivers, small businesses, and local communities. We ask that you take up this issue as soon as possible, and bring everyone to the table so that drivers, labor leaders, and companies can find a compromise that benefits everyone. There is too much at stake for drivers and our economy to let this go unresolved.
Associated Industries of Massachusetts
Massachusetts High Technology Council
Retailers Association of Massachusetts
Auburn Chamber of Commerce
Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce
Cape Cod Canal Chamber of Commerce
Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce
Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce
One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce
Quincy Chamber of Commerce
Shrewsbury Street Merchants Association
South Shore Chamber of Commerce
Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce
The United Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Honorable Chairman James Murphy, Joint Committee on Financial Services
Honorable Chairman Paul Feeney, Joint Committee on Financial Services
Honorable Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, House Ways & Means
Honorable Chairman Michael Rodrigues, Senate Ways & Means
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