Endorsement event in Lawrence drew in support from city councilors, drivers and restaurant owners
BOSTON, MA – July 27, 2022 – Mayor DePeña of the City of Lawrence joined supporters and endorsed the efforts to ensure rideshare and delivery drivers remain independent contractors with access to new benefits. The mayor’s endorsement was formally announced during an event at El Caldero Restaurant in Lawrence, where the restaurant owner, Wendy Luzon, also shared her support for drivers statewide.
“I own two businesses in Lawrence and delivery is extremely important,” said Luzon. “Especially in the downtown area where parking is a challenge for customers. Delivery drivers are creating new opportunities for business owners.”
Drivers who work with app-based companies like DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft and Uber overwhelmingly wish to remain classified as independent contractors to preserve the flexibility that gig work affords them. In fact, 83% of Massachusetts app-based workers support solutions securing their flexibility and access to new company-paid benefits. Flexibility allows drivers the ability to balance other work, go to school and care for loved ones.
“I remember when I came from the Dominican Republic, my goal, my first goal, independence,” said Lawrence’s Mayor DePeña. “(That’s why) I support continued driver flexibility.”
“People who think they know what’s best for drivers want us to become full-time employees of companies like Lyft,” said Octavio Mejia-Suarez, who drives with Lyft. “Personally, that would be really devastating, and if they actually spoke to drivers, they would know how we feel about losing our flexibility.”
Drivers statewide want to work with legislative leaders in the coming months to shape a better future for app-based rideshare and delivery drivers. Other states have shown that convening drivers, companies, legislative and labor leaders is possible, and the Worcester Regional Chamber is joining the fight for similar solutions here in Massachusetts.
Mayor DePeña joins a broad coalition standing in support of drivers, including chambers of commerce, businesses, drivers, municipal leaders and tech groups.
Learn more about the Flexibility & Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers committee at www.yesformassdrivers.org.