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Big money behind Proposition 22 – measure would create wage and labor policies for app-based drivers

Chances are you've seen the ads on TV or online.

There are a lot of them promoting Proposition 22.

"it's really important that app-based drivers are able to do what they do best," said Rancho Mirage voter Alex Dusseljee, who supports the proposition.

If approved by voters, Prop 22 would define app-based drivers for rideshare and delivery companies as "independent contractors" and would adopt wage and labor policies specific to those drivers and the companies.

The companies include Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart. and Postmates.

Supporters of the measure include the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"It's undeniable that rideshare services are critically important to get drunk and drugged drivers from getting behind the wheel," said Pat Rillera, the group's California State Director.

Uber and the tech companies are spending a record amount on the initiative.

They've contributed $200 million to get the measure passed.

They're taking the action after Assembly Bill 5 became law last January.

That law requires the companies to classify their drivers as employees and not independent contractors, which is how the drivers began operating in California.

But, the companies still consider the drivers independent contractors, who don't qualify for health benefits, sick pay or minimum wage.

The groups that oppose Prop 22 include the California Democratic Party, the ACLU of Southern California and labor unions, including the California Teachers Association.

Opponents who spoke with News Channel 3, including a Lyft driver, say 22 is not the answer.

They say it would allow the big app companies to continue avoiding paying payroll taxes, social security, unemployment benefits, and medicare contributions.

"We're talking about an initiative that would cheat workers, it would cheat taxpayers," said Steve Smith, the Communications Director for the California Labor Federation.

Jerome Gage says he has been driving full time for Lyft for two years.

"Prop 22 does not give us a minimum wage, it does not give us healthcare or sick leave," said Gage.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS BALLOTPEDIA'S ANALYSIS OF PROPOSITION 22:

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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