Uber urges White House to include gig workers in coronavirus stimulus

Uber Technologies Inc's chief executive on Monday called on U.S. President Donald Trump to include independent drivers and delivery workers in the country's planned $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package and urged U.S. lawmakers to change labor laws in the long term.

File photo (REUTERS)
File photo

Lawmakers in Washington are discussing a deal to pump more than $1 trillion into the economy to limit the economic damage caused by the coronavirus health crisis, in addition to the hundreds of billions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus that has already been deployed to prop up the world's largest economy.

The Trump administration is also considering a plan to send checks to individual Americans and families to help them weather the crisis, although details of the proposal remained to be worked out by Congress.

Also Read : Coronavirus lockdown: Uber rides suspended, Ola curtail services in Delhi

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a letter to the president said the rights of so-called gig workers, who are currently not included in the federal aid proposal, had to be strengthened.

He also called on lawmakers from both parties to pass new laws that would allow independent contractors to be provided with more benefits without classifying them employees.

"My goal in writing to you is not to ask for a bailout for Uber, but rather for support for independent workers and, once we move past the immediate crisis, the opportunity to legally provide them with a real safety net going forward," Khosrowshahi said in the letter.

Also Read : Coronavirus: Uber cuts spending; Lyft stops adding drivers in many cities

The status of Uber's drivers and delivery workers as independent contractors is crucial to the company's business model, as Uber is not required to pay for health insurance and other employee benefits.

As contractors, Uber drivers are generally also not entitled to workers' compensation and unemployment insurance.

California, the most populous U.S. state, in January implemented a law that makes it harder for gig economy companies to classify their workers as contractors.

Uber and other companies, including smaller rival Lyft Inc and food delivery companies, oppose the law, saying their workers cherished the flexibility that comes with on-demand work. Uber, Lyft and Doordash have earmarked $90 million for a planned November 2020 ballot initiative that would exempt them from the California law.

Khosrowshahi in his Monday letter called on the federal government and state governors to update labor laws, establishing what he called a "third way" that would grant gig economy workers more protections and benefits without classifying them employees.

First Published Date: 25 Mar 2020, 11:30 AM IST
Shopping Bag Shop Now
5% OFF
Godrej aer O – Hanging Car Air Freshener | Car Accessories | Cool Aqua (7.5g)
Rs. 94 Rs. 99
70% OFF
VENO Portable High Power 2 in 1 Car Vacuum Cleaner | USB Rechargeable Wireless Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Traveling, Camping Reusable and Sustainable (2 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner)
Rs. 899 Rs. 2,999
65% OFF
Ambrane 38W Fast Car Charger with Dual Output, Quick Charge 3.0 and Power Delivery, Type-C & USB Port, Wide Compatibility for Smart Phones (RAAP C38 A, Black)
Rs. 349 Rs. 999
5% OFF
Godrej aer O – Hanging Car Air Freshener | Car Accessories | Musk After Smoke (7.5g)
Rs. 94 Rs. 99

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.