Postmates' L.A. Times ad brings its couriers into the gig worker reclassification debate

A bill calling for making on-demand workers employees passed in California senate and tech companies are firing back

Published On
Aug 14, 2019

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Over the past year, legislators and gig worker-fueled businesses like Uber, Lyft and Postmates have entered into a debate on how to ensure on-demand workers are treated fairly when it comes to compensation and benefits. Some argue that the tech companies are taking advantage of current labor laws to boost their bottom line. Lawmakers like San Diego, Calif. Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez believe the workers, who operate as independent contractors, should be reclassified as full-time employees so as to ensure they receive fair benefits and support. Gonzalez helped to write the AB 5 bill that centers on this idea and recently passed in the California State Senate, potentially requiring tech companies to shell out hundreds of millions yearly.

However, the companies argue that such reclassification would ultimately limit the flexibility and convenience that their workers need and benefit from and are calling for legislators instead to update what they believe to be obsolete employment laws to help improve the lives of gig employees.

Today, Postmates jumped further into conversation with an ad running in the L.A. Times today. It features thousands of names of its California-based workforce wrapped around surrounding a call-to-action to their governor, Gavin Newsom. 

It states conditions of an alternative plan that would ensure gig workers their rights like fair pay, insurance and representation, while maintaining their freedom. “There’s a deal that’s been offered to do just that,” it reads. “But conversations have stalled. Can you help?”

The ad follows last month’s op-ed from the delivery company’s CEO Bastian Lehmann on CNN.com, in which he proposed the alternative resolution.