Gig workers should be employees...your thoughts?

I agree with the article where it says most gig workers do not want to be employees. What are your thoughts? I was amazed when I read that gig companies spent over $200 million fighting this new law attempt.


Shopping Arkansas, Louisiana, & Mississippi.

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We struggle with this at the hubby job. It seems that after new ownership, new management, and a churning of mid-level employees who actually knew what was what, we are saddled with people who believe they should command Independent Contractors to perform specific duties for which no contract provision and appropriate remuneration are provided. Recently, someone was bullied and threatened with being fired for pointing out that they were not under contract to perform as commanded and that our contracts are out of date. This is not like corporate or traditional employment where there are specific job duties and that hideous phrase, "and other duties as assigned."

Our response has been to limit add-on whim work that came about when one advertiser wanted a different distribution method and to cease to do almost all extra/sub work which is underpaid and subject to absurd delivery terms. I made a light-hearted attempt elsewhere in this forum to lay out what could be the foundation for a union (in a right to work state, no less!) and/or the basis for re-education regarding the job that hubby and his IC colleagues have performed for many years.

Hubby was not threatened with being fired, but he has incurred so many falls on icy properties-- including one where he smacked his head on an ice-covered concrete driveway-- that years ago I demanded a change. I insisted that we stop doing that type of work and switch to the countryside routes and one small in-town route. As a result, our fuel costs and mileage have increased substantially, but our slips and falls due to ice and other hazards have decreased and we are mostly risk-free. When we sub on some properties, we have a high risk of encountering ice and other hazards.

Change has been needed for decades, and I can chart some thirty years of some of the issues. Should this job's IC's now unionize? Gah! After all I was taught by anti-unionizers, I can hardly believe that I am considering this idea. At the very least, hubby and I will seek legal input before hubby signs a new contract. I have added a budget category for "experienced attorney who can review the promised but still unseen proposed new contracts for the hubby job."

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/30/2021 01:30PM by Shop-et-al.
I was discharged from my last job where the IRS considered me to be an employee, the US Navy, in the fall of 1963. I have refused all attempts to return me to that category. as my freedom is far more important to me. As the old adage states, though, "To each his/her own."
When I entered college more than 50 years ago was when I started doing gig work. Baby sitting faculty brats and typing papers for other students pretty much covered my non-tuition expenses. Later, even though I had a full time job, I continued home typing as a way to buy 'extras' such as a baby grand piano and subsequently as a way to contribute to household income so that I could be a stay-at-home mom.

For me, gig work meant equal pay for equal work and in fact because of my typing speed, far better pay than any clerical employment. With a spouse having employee health insurance for the family, it was a very good deal.

When I retired early at 56, I came back to mystery shopping, mostly as a way to cover my health insurance. It has been a profitable gig not so much for the fees as for the value of the reimbursements to me. I would not want to have this as "employment" because unlike an employee, I want to choose when and where I work and for what kind of remuneration. Not all jobs I take are with the same MSC and not all of the jobs of any MSC are things I am interested in doing.
I prefer IC status for my own reasons, but i think the move to a gig-based economy is harmful in general. But the discussion doesn't have to be an either/or situation. There are things that can be done to provide benefits and protections to gig workers that typically have been provided to employees.
As a gig worker I work the hours I want, the shops that interest me and I don't worry about accepting shops from competing MSCs. As an employee I wouldn't have the luxury of at least 1 or each of these things. I want to remain a gig worker ...
I like being the assistant to an IC, having my little part-time job, and having my little IC non-career. Too much of any of these would be too much of a good thing.

Things are not to be judged good or bad merely because the public think so. - Tacitus
I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
A huge number of gig workers have full time jobs and do IC work on the side. They need flexibility and many of them would be hurt by a move to employee status. The Democrats don't want ICs. They want us all to be unionized employees. It's in their platform. Personally, the day someone tries to make me an employee is the day I bail.
Politically i do not think the statement that the dems do not want there to be any gig work is inaccurate just as the article saying the corporations spent over 200 million fighting the concept has underlying details that many did not see. I live in California where much of the recent battle was.
The companies that spent a lot of money included mostly the transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. They made some vague promises to the drivers if they voted with the "employer". But from what I have read many of the gig employees who voted with their employers discovered that those vague promises by their employer were not what they expected. One of the glaring issues was they were promised a certain basic wage by Uber etc. Turned out when all was said and done and voted for that meant they had a base wage they agreed with which was more money than they had been getting but only while a passenger was in the car. So all the time they spent driving to get to the client or making arrangements or even waiting for a passenger to show up nearby was time spent not at the fees they thought they were getting but at a lower fee. It was a great but misleading adverstising campaign put on by the companies. Still many drivers who are very part time did not want to be "employees" but those who would have benefitted as a full time more or less driver came away unhappy with the result.
The elephant in the room on ICs is the long history of abuse. At IBM my son witnessed engineers within 5 to 10 years of retirement being 'laid off' only to have them return the next week to the same desk, doing the same work, under the same supervisors, but now with the lack of benefits package of an IC.
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