Minnesota Governor Vetoes Gig Worker Pay Bill

Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz on Thursday vetoed a bill that would guarantee minimum wages and other protections for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Waltz, a Democrat, said, “Rideshare drivers should be given safe working conditions and fair wages, and I want to balance the interests of all Minnesotans, drivers and passengers on these issues.” We are committed to finding a solution to this problem,” Waltz, a Democrat, wrote in the letter. Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. But he said the bill, which passed state legislatures last week, “is not the right bill to achieve these goals.”

The bill was seen as an important victory for labor advocacy groups that have fought for increased benefits for gig drivers across the country. Uber and Lyft treat their drivers as independent contractors, not employees. This means that the driver is at their own expense and does not receive medical or other benefits. Both companies say their business models allow them to maintain the flexibility drivers want.

The bill would have required Uber and Lyft to pay drivers at least $1.45 per mile they drive with passengers, or $1.34 per mile outside the Minneapolis-St. Louis station. Pole area, also $0.34 per minute. It will also establish a review process through which drivers can protest if they are suspended from the platform.

Waltz said the minimum wage was too high in places like Minnesota and supported Uber and Lyft’s arguments that ride-sharing businesses in the state would need to be significantly cut as passenger costs rise. .

Uber announced earlier Thursday that it would pull out of Minnesota in early August if the bill passed, leaving only premium service in the state’s largest metropolitan areas.

“This bill would make Minnesota one of the most expensive states in the nation for rideshares, potentially on par with those in New York City and Seattle, cities where the cost of living is dramatically higher than in Minnesota. Yes,” Waltz said. wrote in his letter.

Aside from his first veto, Waltz also issued an executive order to form a commission to examine Minnesota’s ride-sharing business and recommend policy changes to ensure drivers receive fair compensation. .

Uber welcomed the news, saying it would lower the minimum wage slightly and support another bill in Minnesota that would ensure that drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees. This is a long-standing goal the company has pursued in other states.

“We appreciate the opportunity to get this matter right and hope Congress can quickly pass a compromise in February,” Uber spokesman Freddie Goldstein said.

Lyft spokesman CJ Macklin said: “Legislators should pass fair pay and other protections, but in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the affordability or safety of those who depend on the service. I have to,” he added.

State Senator Omar Fateh, who drafted the bill, took to Twitter to criticize Waltz’s decision.

“Today we saw the power companies tie up the government,” he wrote. “The fight is not over. I promise I will never back down.”

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