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Contra Costa theater group concerned over California’s new gig-worker law

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Contra Costa Musical Theatre has been performing hit shows since 1961.

But like many other theater groups in California these days, it is concerned about the new state law Assembly Bill 5.

“It could potentially close us down after 58 years,” says Elizabeth Wood, an advisor to the theater group. 

AB-5, the state’s landmark gig-work law took effect January 1. It requires most contract workers to become company employees.

Aimed largely at ride-share companies, local theater groups say they could become collateral damage. There is not enough money in these theater groups to pay full-time wages and benefits to 50-60 actors, musicians, costumers and other backstage workers.

“We give them money for parking and gas. That’s it. That’s all we can afford to do. That’s all any of the local, regional theater can do,” Wood said.
Jennifer Perry makes her living owning and running the Ballet School in Walnut Creek. But on the side she’s a director and choreographer for the theater group. 

“You are not doing it for the money. You are doing it for what makes you breath,” said Perry.

Supporters of AB-5 say workers need the protections of job security, benefits, and prevent companies from exploiting them.

The theater group says that’s all fine, but there appears to be unintended consequences.

“For some people it’s a hobby. And now you are saying we can’t have that hobby because we have to close down because we can’t pay you,” said Perry.
“It’s starting the discussion to make sure there are fair wages for everyone,” says actor Michael Doppe.

Contra Costa Musical Theatre is banding together with other Bay Area theater companies. The goal is to get state lawmakers to exempt them from AB-5. Otherwise, many could be facing their final curtains.
 

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James Gunn Reveals Kevin Feige’s Reaction To The Suicide Squad Gig

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Kevin Feige could have been frustrated or annoyed that James Gunn was going to work for “the other guys,” but instead, he just wanted to see a good movie. And in the end, that’s the case for all of us, right? You might have a particular love for Marvel Comics or the MCU, but if you like superhero stories in general, then you’re going to want every one of them to be good, even the ones made by “the competition.” And Kevin Feige is working at Marvel Studios now in part because he’s as much a fan of superheroes as anybody.

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Gig companies break $200M barrier in California ballot fight

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A Lyft ride-share car waits at a stoplight in Sacramento, Calif.

A Lyft ride-share car waits at a stoplight in Sacramento, Calif. | Rich Pedroncelli, File/AP

OAKLAND — California officially has its first $200 million ballot campaign, courtesy of the homegrown tech industry.

Proposition 22 always figured to be an enormously expensive fight. Five gig economy firms invested $110 million just at the outset of their effort to exempt themselves from a new state law that could force them to treat app-summoned workers as employees rather than contractors.

The campaign has lived up to those expectations. A late October $3.75 million outlay from DoorDash pushed proponents’ fundraising total to roughly $203 million. Virtually all of that has come from five companies trying to preserve their contractor-reliant business models: Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Instacart and DoorDash.

The implications: The Prop 22 campaign has always been a financial mismatch. While organized labor wields significant sway in California politics, the union-driven opposition campaign has pulled in about $20 million. That used to be a decent sum in California ballot campaigns, but is merely one-tenth of what their opponents have committed.

Despite those lopsided numbers, which have helped the yes side saturate California’s airwaves, polling suggests Prop 22 could fail. A Berkeley IGS poll this month found the measure short of a majority, claiming support from 46 percent of likely voters.

The bigger context: Before this, the fundraising record for a single side of an initiative campaign was the roughly $111 million kidney dialysis companies spent in 2018 to beat back Proposition 8. The tech industry was poised to shatter that from the start.

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Global Gig Economy Platforms Market 2020 Growth Potential, Production, Revenue And COVID-19 Impact Analysis 2025 – re:Jerusalem

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The "Gig" Is Up - What Is The Gig Economy? What Does It Mean To You?Fabrik  Brands

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