Drivers of Color Urge Lawmakers to Support Ballot Initiative

CONTACT: Conor Yunits, 857-276-8479, cyunits@solomonmccown.com

BOSTON, MA – January 20, 2022 More than 50 rideshare and delivery drivers of color from across the Commonwealth signed a letter to lawmakers this week, urging them to support a ballot initiative and legislation that would allow drivers to keep their independent contractor status while receiving new benefits. Citing the benefits of flexibility to those who have often been left behind by the traditional employment system, the drivers called on the House and Senate to find a solution to the ongoing debate over worker classification. 

“The pandemic continues to disproportionately affect our Black and Brown communities, partly due to persistent systemic racism within the traditional economy,” the letter reads. “App-based work can change that reality, as it allows people of all races and backgrounds the opportunity to access jobs and income that traditionally wouldn’t be available to us.”

The letter notes the real impact of schedule flexibility on everyday life: “App-based rideshare and delivery work gives people the freedom and independence to work jobs that allow them to also serve as caregivers for family members, attend their children’s games and recitals, make their doctor’s appointments, and help their community by delivering essential goods and providing rides. We are not at the mercy of discriminatory hiring processes, unfair scheduling, or unreasonable supervisors.”

The drivers also called attention to the potential impacts on disadvantaged neighborhoods if flexibility was removed from the rideshare and delivery driving industry: “Black and Brown drivers work tirelessly to keep our economy moving, especially in neighborhoods and towns that are far from public transit. If forced into full-time schedules, many of us would no longer be able to continue driving and passengers would feel the effects as access to rides would not be as immediately available.”

The letter concludes by asking legislators to stand with drivers, who support the proposed ballot question by a margin of 7:1. 

“If Black and Brown workers are to come back from this pandemic better than before, lawmakers must allow us drivers to live up to our full potential and support this ballot initiative.” 

The proposed ballot question secures the overwhelmingly popular flexibility that app-based rideshare and delivery drivers currently enjoy, while also providing them with historic new benefits, including protections against discrimination. Learn more about these efforts at yesformassdrivers.org