As transportation and delivery platform companies roll out new Terms of Service agreements with the implementation of Proposition 22, California app-based drivers and delivery workers are continuing their fight in 2021 with a message to their colleagues—opt out of mandatory arbitration.
“Prop 22 is just the latest in a long line of ways the gig giants take advantage of workers,” said Chris Arellano, a Bay Area driver-organizer with Rideshare Drivers United (RDU), the California-based union of 20,000 app-based drivers. “By forcing us into arbitration, drivers and delivery workers are made to stand alone when we fight back legally. But we’re not backing down, and we won’t let new arbitration mandates shut down our fight.”
Proposition 22 passed by referendum in November after TNCs like Uber and Lyft and DNCs like Instacart and Postmates together spent a record-breaking $200 million on a deceptive PR campaign. Now, RDU is reaching out to fellow platform workers in the delivery sector to challenge the companies’ abuses together, with easy tools workers can use to opt-out of mandatory arbitration.
Platform workers are all in the same boat. Since the pandemic, so many drivers have taken on delivery work,” said Esterphanie St. Juste, a driver-organizer. “We need to pool our resources and work together. That’s what the companies do, and that’s how Prop 22 passed. Workers need to do the same if we want to win.”
Proposition 22 assigns platform-deployed drivers and deliverers into a second-class status. While the law denies such workers the legal protections and benefits that traditional employees receive, it does set some standards that will require legal enforcement. Arbitration makes such enforcement challenging.
Workers have 30 days from the time they consent to the Terms of Service agreements, to opt out of the arbitration clause.