If you want rideshare service to continue to be available in Massachusetts, our state needs to start listening to drivers. When you step into a rideshare — maybe an Uber outside Logan Airport, maybe a Lyft on your way back home from a party — you and your driver may not exchange a word. But we wish we could talk to you about how Uber and Lyft are failing us. Massachusetts narrowly escaped catastrophe this month when the state Supreme Court dismissed a Big Tech-backed ballot question that would have put already-exploited drivers like me in greater turmoil and hurt our passengers, too.
While Uber and Lyft said their ballot measure was what was best for drivers, this scheme was actually about what was best for app companies. Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart spent $17.8 million to try to convince Massachusetts voters to side with their top executives. This referendum attempted to shift all liability from the app companies, who have money, to the drivers, who don’t, leaving customers and drivers unprotected. The fact that this ballot measure is no longer moving forward is a huge relief to Massachusetts drivers.
Despite the best efforts of these app juggernauts, their ballot question failing has prevented disaster. But this decision has not improved the lives of drivers. To do that, we need legislation that allows drivers to form a union and finally have the same rights and protections as other American workers.
Full Op-Ed availalbe at the Boston Herald.