Written by Michael Palomba
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden continues to back Assembly Bill 5, despite the fact that it completely obliterated the gig economy in our state. AB 5 has already proven to be a complete disaster in California, but Biden wants to implement it nationwide.
Last year California passed #AB5, affording gig workers protections and benefits like a minimum wage and overtime pay.
Now, gig economy giants are trying to gut the law and exempt their workers. It's unacceptable.
I urge Californians to vote no on the initiative this November.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 27, 2020
Coincidentally, he tweeted that message the same day he was endorsed by AFL-CIO, a major labor union.
With the recent spike in unemployment levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many are calling for the suspension or repeal of AB 5. This is the logical move right now because AB 5 destroys jobs by taking away the ability of companies to hire independent contractors. When unemployment is at Great Depression-era highs and millions of Americans are struggling financially, why would we want legislation that eliminates quality jobs?
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the author of the bill, is always looking out for union interests, and AB 5 is no different. It’s a pro-union, anti-freedom piece of legislation that never should’ve become law in the first place. Independent contractors choose to be so, and why should the government tell them they can’t?
I have worked for Doordash as an independent contractor in the past. After expenses, I was able to average around $22 an hour! My current job, where I am not an independent contractor, doesn’t pay me nearly that much. I’ve also spoken to other independent contractors, like Uber and Lyft drivers, who have been able to make even more per hour than I did. Being an independent contractor gives you the freedom to work how you want, when you want, and where you want. Why should anyone take that freedom away?
Biden has been advocating for AB 5 for a while now. In September, he tweeted:
All workers deserve the right to bargain for good wages, benefits and working conditions—including gig workers. That is why I'm pleased the CA Legislature passed AB5. As president, I will enact a federal law to ensure gig workers get the full protections they deserve.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 12, 2019
Interesting that he wants to “enact a federal law to ensure gig workers get the full protections they deserve,” considering AB 5 essentially ended the gig economy. If he implemented an AB 5-style bill nationwide, there would be no gig workers to protect.
Both Biden and Gonzalez care more about unions and lining their own pockets than they do about the American people. AB 5 is a massive overstep of the government that severely infringes on our right to work as we please. It’s an atrocity that it was signed into law in California, and even the idea of making it a nationwide measure is truly frightening.