Uber engineer said to Proposition 22 of California, the issue is ‘bigger than my employment at Uber’


A riding driver participates in a protest on August 20 at Los Angeles International Airport. An Uber engineer is in favor of the drivers and has published an op-ed against Proposition 22 on 6 October.

Robin Beck / AFP via Getty Images

An engineer at Uber Technologies Inc. said that on Tuesday he is taking a risk by speaking out against his company’s California ballot measure, which means refraining from classifying riding drivers as employees are called according to state law is. But “workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor,” and the issue is “bigger than my employment at Uber,” he said.

Mobile engineer Kurt Nelson brought a unique perspective to the battle of Proposition 22, supported with $ 185 million from Uber UBER,
-2.36%,
Lyft Inc. LYFT,
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DoorDash Inc., Instacart and Postmates. He told Marketwatch that soon after an op-ed written by Tech-Crunch said that he had looked at the question of worker-classification from the point of view of someone who worked gigs (Lyft, Uber Eats and Caviar For, especially for college), as a user of the gig-economy platform and now someone working on the Android version of the Uber app.

In his op-ed, he wrote that he is aware that there is no employee safety and considers drivers to be more empowered: “Before joining Uber, I worked at Disneyland for customer service with low-paying jobs Deliver Pizza with a Range of Benefits.

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The San Francisco-based ride-hailing veteran has asked his employees, especially his friends and family, to vote for Proposition 22, and has offered them T-shirts, car decals and window signs, Nelson said said.

“I’m definitely worried about my working conditions being affected at Uber,” he said. Nelson is aware that he may become the latest casualty in technical worker activism. Over the years, other tech companies such as Google and Amazon have fired employees who have publicly criticized or protested against them.

However, Nelson stated that “I care about a bunch about this issue,” and that he is particularly concerned about the measure’s “immaturity”. Proposition 22 – which offers drivers a new guaranteed minimum wage, contributions to health benefits, and other promises that its opponents say fall short of full employee safety – contains a clause that includes the state legislature’s seven- The eighth part is required so that it can be amended.

“There are flaws in the ballot proposal system in California, and easily exploited by anyone who has enough money and power to spend,” he said. “Like Proposition 13, it can stay with us for decades.” (Property 13 cap property-tax increases in the state.)

A spokesperson for the company said Uber had no comment on Tuesday.

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Nelson said some of his colleagues have felt the same about Proposition 22 but are afraid to speak. He said that some have already thanked him for doing so through his op-ed. On the other hand, he also works with people who work for the initiative and against Assembly Bill 5 under the Labor-Classification Law, which Uber and other gig companies are fighting with their full strength. He included those who “personally attack” Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who wrote the bill, he said.

In his op-ed, he inspired his colleagues and other employees of gig companies to stand alongside other workers.

“When your employer asks you to vote for something because it’s best for the company, consider that your employer’s interests may not align with your own or with society’s,” Nelson said Wrote

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