Connect with us

Economy

The latest salvo in the battle over the ‘gig economy’ bill – Lake County Record-Bee

Published

on

As the old adage goes, “politics makes strange bedfellows” and this statement can certainly be applied to the latest salvo in the battle over efforts to replace and repeal California’s Assembly Bill 5 which went into effect this January and which legislative Republicans have labeled an “anti-worker law.” While supported by a number of Democratic Party lawmakers, the text of the original bill introduced by Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has been amended to exempt numerous industries and continues to undergo heavy scrutiny and criticism.

While Republican President Donald Trump has called journalists “the opposition party” and regularly refers to reporters as “the enemy of the people,” California lawmakers led by Senate Republican leaders Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and members of the GOP Caucus have introduced a legislative package to counteract what they call the “job-killing impacts of AB5.” Ironically, repeal of AB5 would be beneficial to the media the President regularly riles against, although other industries would also benefit.

Senate Bill 806, authored by Grove and co-authored by other Senate Republicans would repeal and replace AB 5 with a new test they noted last week “supports much more worker freedom and saves business-to-business relationships.”

Included in the legislative package are bills to help many of the industries that have been adversely affected and were left out of AB 5. Among other things, specifically these bills have been introduced:

  • SB 806 (Grove): Designed to repeal and replace AB 5
  • SB 867 (Bates): Would protect newspaper carriers and distributors
  • SB 868 (Bates): Would protect freelance journalists.

There are additional bills that would also exempt interpreters and translators, musicians and music industry professionals, protect franchisors and franchisees and exempt healthcare facilities, among other businesses, individuals and industries.

“Senate Republicans have continuously warned legislative Democrats about the horrendous consequences of limiting worker freedom,” noted Grove. “Independent contractors are being hurt by this anti-worker law and some have lost their ability to earn a living. This disastrous law must be repealed and replaced so Californians can once again have flexibility in the freelance economy.”

AB5 has received a lot of press since it was introduced and I have always maintained that it was a bad law as written, necessitating a number of amendments. Another element that makes the saga of the “gig economy” a fascinating story is how it has been enacted during an election season which is rife with partisan and ideological rancor and in a toxic atmosphere of political division. But if you take the ideological aspects out of the equation, you are left with a bill that has already adversely disrupted how freelancers operate in the Golden state. Although billed as a law that would help workers, the opposite has proven to be true.

As reported recently by the Sacramento Business Journal, another bill introduced last month, AB 1928, would largely repeal the strict employee definitions of AB 5, and it seeks to do it immediately as an urgency bill. However, it is unclear how much traction it will garner in the Democrat controlled legislature.

To be fair, as reported by Folio’s Greg Dool and others, AB5’s author herself announced earlier this month that state legislators are reconsidering the 35-submission limit for freelance writers, photographers and journalists and seeks to remove that provision as part of AB 1850, a follow-up bill to AB 5 which clarifies the types of employees labeled as independent contractors. As of this writing, that bill has been re-referred to the Committee on Labor and Employment.

The saga of AB5 may make for sexy copy, especially during our polarized election year environment, but it is also a serious issue when so many livelihoods have been already negatively affected.

Ariel Carmona Jr, a 15 year veteran of the journalism industry, is the managing editor of the Lake County-Record Bee.

 

 

 

 

Source link

Economy

The Music Dies for Poland’s Gig Economy Workers

Published

on

By

There was a time when the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) was seen as the champion of those relying on flexible forms of employment. Five years ago, when it came to power, it declared it would abolish “junk” contracts.

But critics say all PiS has done is to introduce a minimum hourly rate for casual workers to match minimum rates for employees on full contracts.

“It takes more time for the labour market to totally get out of these types of contracts,” said Wojciech Zubowski, PiS deputy chairman of the parliament’s economy and development committee. “Besides, for many people who don’t want to be associated with one company, this kind of employment is simply suitable.”

In recent years, Poland has seen economic growth and budget surpluses thanks in part to a buoyant global economic outlook and austerity reforms brought in by PiS’s predecessors. Poland’s unemployment rate hit a record low of 2.9 per cent in January. 

But critics say PiS has squandered the conditions it inherited. Instead of reforming the chaotic labour market, it has overseen a dramatic increase in social spending.

It introduced a “13th” and then a “14th” month of annual pension payments and one-off gifts of around 70 euros for school pupils. It also brought in an immensely popular subsidy of 110 euros a month for each child, regardless of a family’s income, which has cost taxpayers 18.5 billion euros since 2016.

Critics say PiS has also distributed money among loyalists in the public media, government agencies and bureaucracy — sectors that are key to the party’s grip on power — though PiS denies it.

“In times of prosperity, PiS has neither made serious investments nor savings,” said Katarzyna Lubnauer, a member of the Modern party, which along with Civic Platform, the main opposition party, forms the Civic Coalition alliance in parliament.

“So now there are relatively few funds that can be allocated to saving the economy.”

In times of prosperity, PiS has neither made serious investments nor savings. So now there are relatively few funds that can be allocated to saving the economy.

– Katarzyna Lubnauer, the Modern party

While Lubnauer faults PiS for not reorganising the labour market, she said for some workers it was a conscious choice to work on non-standard contracts, which offered them flexibility and exemption from paying social contributions.

But “what worked in times of prosperity becomes a burden in the crisis”, Lubnauer added.

Meanwhile, singer Marcin Januszkiewicz wonders if he will ever play a concert again as social distancing looks more and more like the new normal.

Whatever happens, though, he is trying to stay upbeat.

“The thought that we’re all together facing some unknown disaster rather builds me up,” he said.



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Help is on the way for Uber, Lyft drivers and other gig workers as economy sputters

Published

on

By

“That shift in the economy, we’re not going back, so I think hey, when we get through this people are going to be renting out rooms again and sharing their vehicles and participating in opportunities. So I don’t think there’s any necessarily turning back on the gig economy, I think it was such a shock to the system of many folks that were participating in it that saw this as their full time job. And there really isn’t a nice safety net, although some of the programs may be addressing and supporting them,” Goldberg said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

Collaborations helping gig economy survive COVID-19

Published

on

By

Multiple partnerships between local governments and private businesses in the gig economy space are playing an important role in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, a report by the Ola Mobility Institute (OMI), ‘Leveraging and Protecting the Gig Economy against COVID-19 has said. 

The report says such collaborations between governments and businesses has resulted in the government recognising the potential of gig workers in this crisis, by two non-fiscal strategies, i.e. by actively involving the technological capability of the platforms and their logistical networks (hands-on approach), and passively facilitating their operations through legal protection (hands-off approach). The agility of businesses implies fewer challenges to staffing their gig workforce, while also providing remunerative opportunities to gig workers, it said. 

In India, this collaboration has been seen as platforms such as Flipkart, Uber and Big Basket are partnering with each other in multiple cities to provide delivery of essentials.  

It calls for a collective effort to strengthen social partnership with platform companies to fast-track the recovery process from the COVID-19 crisis. Gig workers and platforms must be leveraged to better manage the crisis, fast-track recovery.

It also discusses steps to protect gig workers that have been taken by the new-age platforms and the governments. New businesses are strengthening safety measures, adapting to the new work environment, providing health access to all, expanding paid leave, and taking steps to secure the livelihoods of players in the gig economy. It also says that governments across the world have also announced multiple policy measures to minimise the human and economic impact of COVID-19, and particularly protect the gig workers.

Speaking on the report, Carson Dalton, Senior Director, Ola Mobility Institute said, “COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis of our time. Under these extraordinary circumstances, gig workers and platform companies are adapting quickly and leveraging their workforce to ensure transportation services, delivery of essential commodities and medicines are available to the most vulnerable populations.” 

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Gigger.news.