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Uber and Lyft put up $60 million for ballot fight to avoid paying their drivers as employees

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On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported that ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft are prepared to spend $60 million in support of a potential California ballot question in 2020 that would prevent their workers from being classified as employees.

The push comes as the California legislature advances AB 5, which would require any workers who perform functions that aren’t outside the course of their employer’s business to be classified as an employee — codifying a decision last year by the California Supreme Court.

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Uber and Lyft have kept their margins low by classifying their workers as self-employed contractors who just happen to use their app as a social network to find passengers. This means that they are not covered by a number of protections that employees receive, like the right to unionize or to receive overtime pay.

The two ride-sharing corporations have frequently used their financial muscle to force states and cities to adopt or not adopt laws favorable to them. In 2017, they aggressively backed a local proposition in Austin, Texas, to defeat a new ordinance requiring FBI background checks and traffic restrictions on ride-sharing drivers. After the proposition was defeated, they suspended business in the city entirely until the Texas legislature passed a law preempting Austin’s ordinance.

This massive expenditure to protect favorable anti-worker policies is not entirely unexpected — there is reason to believe that the ride-sharing companies are in fact massively unprofitable even with worker costs kept to the bare minimum, so a defeat on this issue could well threaten the viability of their business altogether.


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Amy Klobuchar shredded for trying to relate to union audience by saying her ‘name in Spanish class was Elena’

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) met with Culinary Union members in Las Vegas, Nevada Tuesday night during the CNN town hall for her opponents. The Culinary Union is made up of the over 60,000 hotel housekeepers, bartenders, restaurant and casino workers, and others who make up the backbone of the entire city. Many members are Spanish-speaking and people of color, yet it was still puzzling why Klobuchar began her speech with a bizarre anecdote.

According to Culinary members and reporters present, she began by saying, "My name is Amy, but when I was in fourth grade Spanish they gave me the name Elena."

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Maddow reports on the ‘doomsday scenario’ that impacted America like a ‘domestic nuclear bomb’

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday reported on the "rule of law emergency" as Attorney General Bill Barr uses the Department of Justice as a "weapon" to benefit Donald Trump.

Maddow reported on all of the key investigations being run by the Southern District of New York (SDNY), which is known as the Sovereign District of New York for its independence from DOJ headquarters.

"They are investigating the Trump inaugural committee, SDNY is investigating the Trumps' family business, SDNY is investigating criminal behavior of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani," Maddow noted. "SDNY put Michael Cohen in prison for hush money paid by the president's campaign before the 2016 election."

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Bill Barr is considering quitting if Trump continues to Tweet about DOJ: report

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The Washington Post Tuesday night reports Attorney General Bill Barr has told multiple people "close to President Trump" inside and outside the White House that he is considering quitting if the President continues to tweet about Dept. of Justice investigations.

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