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Letters to the Editor: Gig companies should not write California’s labor laws. Vote no on Prop. 22

Proposition 22
A vehicle with Uber and Lyft stickers arrives at a news conference put on by opponents of Proposition 22 in Orange on Oct. 16.
(Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Proposition 22 bars the state Legislature from making changes without a seven-eighths majority vote, virtually cementing in place the status of ride-hailing and delivery drivers as independent contractors and not employees.

Columnist George Skelton believes its approval will open the door for gig-company officials to negotiate a grand bargain to correct the measure’s flaws. But how could that happen without unionizing the 1 million-plus independent contractors who would be affected by Proposition 22?

A more viable solution would defeat Proposition 22 and petition the Legislature to revisit Assembly Bill 5. Employee protections should be extended to all gig workers that allow flexibility to choose where and when they work according to their individual needs.

Eugene Mullaly, San Diego

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To the editor: I just don’t get the arguments of Uber, Lyft and DoorDash regarding Proposition 22, which would override protections their employees should have under state law.

They claim the initiative allows flexibility for their employees to set their work times. I don’t see how that is not possible under existing law.

I managed a team of employees and had to abide by state law, departmental requirements and union contracts. I easily scheduled them to allow for school, parenting and household emergencies. The work got done, the employees enjoyed their jobs, and I think our absenteeism was the lowest in the agency.

The modest benefits in Proposition 22 for employees do not balance the loss of job protections to which they are entitled. They are being exploited by the ride-share companies. A “no” vote on Proposition 22 helps slow down the race to the bottom for California workers.

Dave Middleton, Rancho Mirage

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To the editor: There is a simple, straightforward way to deal with the issue of employees versus independent contractors. It is not something the politicians or labor unions want considered. The answer is to change the law to the following: Let the worker decide.

This removes the angst for small employers, eases the hiring pressure on businesses and assures that the worker gets treated fairly. Just be sure the revised law protects the worker from undue pressure by the company.

Forcing me, a software developer, to be an employee instead of a contractor is wrong. Just let the worker decide. No one gets harmed, and the whole exemption process can be thrown away.

Rescind AB 5, and just let the worker decide.

Michael J Wolfstone, Chino


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