Posted in: Tattle, Technology

Big tech threw $200m at a ballot measure to hurt gig economy workers. And they won | Ross Barkan

Having won in California, they will seek devastating victories elsewhere

One of the darker outcomes of 21st-century work life has been the predatory gig economy. Divorced from healthcare benefits and regular pay, millions of workers are told they are supposed to be lucky to drive passengers around in a car for ever-diminishing returns.

Last week, there was hope that Proposition 22, a ballot measure that allows gig economy companies to continue treating drivers as independent contractors, would be defeated in California, an increasingly progressive state. But voters passed the measure overwhelmingly, thanks to obscene amounts of spending by Uber, Lyft, Seamless and DoorDash. Unleashing more than $200m – 10 times the amount of the proposition’s opponents, like labor unions – the coalition of tech giants easily drowned out those fighting for the rights of workers.

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