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California’s latest erosion of gig worker rights could be going global

A measure passed in California removes many employment rights for gig workers. Similar rules could soon come to a place near you, writes Annalee Newitz



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18 November 2020

PEOPLE in the US have been so busy freaking out about the recent presidential election that it was easy to miss a vote in California for a ballot measure called Proposition 22. Gig work giants Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates sponsored the measure, to the tune of $205 million. Some even converted their apps into propaganda machines, exhorting users to vote “Yes on Prop 22”.

The measure passed, and now California has a new class of worker: “independent contractors”. The result is that there is a special exemption for gig work companies from certain labour laws and …

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