As Uber and California continue to battle over the employment status of rideshare drivers, Uber has released a poll showing that their drivers “overwhelmingly support” being classified as independent contractors.
The survey was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group. According to The Hill, the survey found that 82 percent of drivers support their independent contractor status. Only 15 percent state they would prefer to receive traditional employment status and benefits.
Between July 10 and July 18, 1,002 Uber drivers were interviewed online. Those who participated were 18 years of age or older and had driven for Uber or Uber Eats in the past year. The survey also questioned 1,301 likely voters, defined as registered voters 18 years or older who say they are likely to vote in the upcoming 2020 election.
Of the 82% of drivers who support the plan to remain independent contractors, 88% agree the plan would benefit them. In regard to the voters who participated in the survey, 76% support the policy plan. Voters who support the plan include 78% of Democrats, 75% of Republicans, and 74% of Independents.
In regard to why drivers want to remain independent contractors, the most common reasons included having flexibility in their schedule, being able to schedule work around the needs of their family, health, other work, and education, paying for basic needs like rent and food, being their own boss, and controlling their own financial future.
As a result of the survey, Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group released the following statement: “Drivers and Voters overwhelmingly support Uber’s new Independent Contractor (IC) plan […] that allows Drivers to continue to work as Independent Contractors, maintaining the flexibility and freedom of working independently, but gives them access to benefits that today are only available to employees under existing labor laws.”
Uber has begun discussing a flexible benefits plan for drivers. This would potentially allow them to keep their independent status while having access to traditional benefits like health insurance and paid time off. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently discussed the flexible benefits plan: “Our current employment system is outdated and unfair. It forces every worker to choose between being an employee with more benefits but less flexibility, or an independent contractor with more flexibility but almost no safety net.”
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