This Week in Rideshare: Prop 22, house parties and India.

3 min readOct 16, 2020

Uber and unions go head-to-head, house parties cause chaos and engineers in India. LegalRideshare breaks it down.

MONDAY 10/12/20

The New York Times sounded off on Prop 22 with some choice words: “Reject it.” They added:

Uber and Lyft especially have exerted meaningful control over their workers, including by setting base fares, dictating which routes to take and even denying drivers access to the apps — all without recourse.

If the ballot proposal fails, the companies appear poised to increase prices after years of keeping them artificially low. A price increase should be viewed as a good thing, helping both the gig companies and the workers share in a more profitable system.

TUESDAY 10/13/20

Like a double-header, Uber and Lyft are also fighting in court over driver employment status. Wasington Post reported:

…the judges turned to wages, signaling a looming question regarding the companies’ positions that they are not subject to minimum wage requirements. Drivers are not paid for time they spend waiting for a ride, which research has said constitutes a third of their time.

WEDNESDAY 10/14/20

Out go the nightclubs and in come…the house parties. Much to the disarray of Airbnb. Bloomberg explains:

Professional party promoters started scanning Airbnb, Vrbo and other short-term rental sites for mansions and luxury condos for hire. Tickets were going for $90 on Eventbrite and TikTok for soirees with bottle service and DJs.

Airbnb and Expedia Group Inc.’s Vrbo have tried to crack down. Despite strict enforcement measures, the companies are struggling to curtail the events. If a listing is banned from Airbnb it can often still be available on Vrbo and other sites, and vice versa. If a host — or guest — is blacklisted, he or she may rent another property under another person’s name.

THURSDAY 10/15/20

Uber is hiring hundreds of engineers. Just not in America. Tech Crunch explains:

Uber said on Thursday it is working to hire 225 engineers in India, strengthening its tech team in the key overseas market months after it eliminated thousands of jobs globally.

The move comes as several high-profile engineers have left Uber India in recent months to join Google and Amazon, among other tech giants. A senior engineer who recently left Uber told TechCrunch that many of his peers had lost confidence in Uber’s future prospects in the country.

FRIDAY 10/16/20

As the vote for Prop 22 comes ever closer, Union members are fighting back. SF Weekly explains:

Janitors, housekeeping staff, food concessionaires, and waiters shouted above the din of honking horns, and a megaphone-touting Shahid Buttar, championing various causes. The workers demanded better pay and benefits, decried descrimination in the workplace, and urged voters to reject Proposition 22.

“Our bargaining power will be weakened by these people not having a say about their work” says Nafis Griffis, a banquet waiter and member of Unite Here Local 2. “If we lose this Proposition 22, it’s like losing some soldiers,” he says, describing the fight for labor as a kind of war.

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