Col­lec­tive Bar­gain­ing Rights May Shake the En­tire Gig Econ­omy

The HR Digest - - Hr Drift -

Work­ers in the gig econ­omy would re­ceive the right to bar­gain col­lec­tively for wages and ben­e­fits col­lec­tively un­der lat­est leg­isla­tive amend­ments in­tro­duced by Lorena Gon­za­lez, Assem­bly Mem­ber in Cal­i­for­nia. The pro­posed leg­is­la­tion in Cal­i­for­nia will of­fer in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors, mainly in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in the gig econ­omy for liveli­hood, to or­ga­nize and bar­gain col­lec­tively in the same man­ner as union­ized work­ers do. Presently ac­knowl­edged as “The Cal­i­for­nia 1099 Self-or­ga­niz­ing Act”, the Assem­bly Bill 1727 would of­fer in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors and work­ers who per­form their work via on­line plat­forms, for in­stance, mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, to or­ga­nize and bar­gain as a team, boy­cott or crit­i­cize unau­then­tic busi­ness prac­tices, es­tab­lish com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the pub­lic and cus­tomers di­rectly, and re­port prac­tices, which they be­lieve are vi­o­lat­ing the law or af­fect­ing clients and co-work­ers ad­versely. The assem­bly bill would also of­fer a col­lec­tive ne­go­ti­at­ing re­la­tion­ship for “mem­bers” where the work­ers would merely need ten or more peo­ple work­ing on the on­line plat­form to an­nounce their wish to ne­go­ti­ate as a team with the or­ga­ni­za­tion. The pro­posed leg­is­la­tion by Assem­bly Mem­ber Lorena Gon­za­lez is be­lieved to be the first leg­isla­tive at­tempt done on a statewide level in the na­tion. It will of­fer col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights along with var­i­ous work­place pro­tec­tions meant for union­ized em­ploy­ees to work­ers in gig econ­omy. The Seat­tle City Coun­cil in De­cem­ber 2015 ap­proved an or­di­nance, which al­lowed trans­porta­tion sec­tor’s in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors to or­ga­nize and ne­go­ti­ate col­lec­tively. Re­cently, a law­suit was filed by the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce to en­cour­age the Seat­tle or­di­nance of en­force­ments and to de­clare the or­di­nance in vi­o­la­tion of la­bor law and fed­eral an­titrust.

This leg­isla­tive pro­posal knocks the door at a time pe­riod when com­pa­nies in­volved in gig econ­omy are fac­ing nu­mer­ous class action law­suits claim­ing that work­ers in this econ­omy are also en­ti­tled to the same hour and wage ben­e­fits as nor­mal em­ploy­ees. Gig com­pa­nies and their busi­ness model of in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors are also fac­ing grow­ing scru­tiny from state and fed­eral reg­u­la­tors, which in­cludes the Hour Divi­sion and Labors Wage Depart­ment of the United States.

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