AOC rips Barbara Boxer for helping Lyft fight California bill
WASHINGTON — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. called out former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Thursday over her work opposing a California bill that would make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors in many industries including those workers participating in the “gig economy” for services like Lyft and Uber.
Boxer, who is advising Lyft, penned an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week where she criticized the bill, writing, “Switching to an employee model will mean far fewer opportunities to drive.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter writing, “Fmr officials should not become corporate lobbyists, in letter or spirit. It’s an abuse of power + a stain on public service.”
“I don’t care if it’s a Democrat doing it (both parties do). In fact, that makes it worse — we’re supposed to fight FOR working people, not against them,” she continued.
The bill, California AB-5, takes aim at the titans of the “gig economy” such as Lyft, Uber, Doordash, and Postmates. If it became law, the bill they would make it more difficult for such companies to deny a number of legal protections to workers which they don’t currently enjoy as independent contractors.
Some 2020 Democrats presidential candidates have weighed in supporting the pro-worker legislation.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote earlier this month in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee, “I’m fighting for an America where everybody – even the biggest, richest and most well-connected companies – plays by the rules. Passing AB 5 gets us closer to that ideal.”
A spokesperson for the Bernie Sanders campaign said that the senator “strongly supports AB5,” according to Cal Matters. Sen. Sanders has also specifically called for protections for the workers of ride-hailing services.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., also supports the bill. Ian Sams, a Harris campaign spokesman told Vice, “In our evolving economy, she believes it’s critical we ensure a robust social safety net for all workers and support their right to join a union.”
As for Ocasio-Cortez’s beef with former lawmakers becoming lobbyists, she has joined forces with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to draft legislation which would prohibit the frequent move on the behalf of many ex-Capitol Hill lawmakers.