Wait – Senator Warren DIDN’T Slam The Gig Economy? 

Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA)

 

From JDSupra, Anne Milligan discusses Senator Elizabeth Warren’s approach to the gig economy.  She writes:

The core takeaway from her first-of-its-kind speech? “Workers without employers should have access to the same kind of benefits that some employees already have.” Before we delve into the revolutionary, controversial idea of a “basic bargain,” as Warren called it — a safety net of benefits for all workers regardless of whether they are employees, independent contractors, or something in between — let’s circle back on the most important part of that sentence: “workers without employers.” That phrase acknowledges every gig worker in the United States, without derision or “crusade.”

Do continue, Senator.

The gig economy didn’t invent any of these [economic or misclassification] problems. In fact, the gig economy has become a stopgap for some workers who can’t make ends meet in a weak labor market. …

The problems facing gig workers are much like the problems facing millions of other workers. An outdated employee benefits model makes it all but impossible for temporary workers, contract workers, part-time workers and workers in industries like retail or construction who switch jobs frequently to build an economic security. …

We can’t blame the parts of the gig economy that we don’t like on technology companies, software, or smartphones. There are plenty of outsourced janitors and warehouse workers, plenty of security guards and manufacturing workers who can explain that on-demand work is nothing new.

Warren, while a politician, is hardly political when it comes to her choice of words. There is no cloying subtly in her rhetoric. If she had intended to “take on” Uber and Lyft for misclassification or purported abuses, she would have done so. Guess what? She didn’t. If anything, her speech recognizes that the gig economy is integral and necessary:

A hundred years ago, nobody grappling with the rapid changes in technology and work seriously entertained the idea of banning manufacturing advances. And today, nobody seriously entertains the idea of pulling the plug on the Internet. Massive technological change is a gift—a byproduct of human ingenuity that creates extraordinary opportunity to improve the lives of billions. … To fully realize the potential of this new economy, laws must be adapted to make sure that the basic bargain for workers remains intact.

So about that “bargain.” Warren proposes that an “outdated employee benefits model,” is to blame, and that everyone—from temp employees to gig workers—could get on the same playing field if they were provided a set of radical guarantees…

 


Source:  Wait – Senator Warren DIDN’T Slam The Gig Economy? | Fisher Phillips – JDSupra

  1 comment for “Wait – Senator Warren DIDN’T Slam The Gig Economy? 

  1. Anne Milligan
    July 5, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Thanks for the repost, Nathan!

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