Minnesota Governor Vetoes Gig Worker Pay Bill

Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota on Thursday vetoed a invoice that might have assured a minimal wage and different protections for Uber and Lyft drivers.

“Ride-share drivers deserve protected working circumstances and honest wages, and I’m dedicated to discovering options to those points that stability the pursuits of all Minnesotans, drivers and riders alike,” Mr. Walz, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to the speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. But he mentioned that the laws, which handed the state legislature final week, “isn’t the fitting invoice to realize these objectives.”

The invoice had been seen as a major victory for labor advocates, who’ve been combating for larger advantages for gig drivers throughout the nation. Uber and Lyft deal with their drivers as impartial contractors slightly than workers, which means the drivers are accountable for their very own bills and don’t obtain well being care or different advantages. The corporations say their enterprise mannequin permits drivers to keep up the flexibleness they need.

The laws would have required Uber and Lyft to pay their drivers a minimum of $1.45 per mile they drive with a passenger, or $1.34 per mile outdoors the Minneapolis-St. Paul space, in addition to $0.34 per minute. It additionally would have established a overview course of letting drivers protest circumstances the place they have been deactivated from the platforms.

Mr. Walz sided with the arguments of Uber and Lyft, which mentioned the minimal wage was too excessive for a area like Minnesota and would require them to drastically curtail their ride-sharing companies within the state as prices elevated for riders.

Earlier on Thursday, Uber mentioned it might pull out of Minnesota originally of August if the invoice handed, leaving solely its premium service within the state’s largest metropolitan area.

“This invoice might make Minnesota some of the costly states within the nation for journey share, probably placing us on par with the price of rides in New York City and Seattle — cities with dramatically larger prices of dwelling than Minnesota,” Mr. Walz wrote in his letter.

Aside from the veto — his first — Mr. Walz additionally issued an government order establishing a fee to check the ride-share enterprise in Minnesota and advocate coverage modifications to make sure drivers obtain honest compensation.

Uber cheered the information and mentioned it might help a special invoice that might provide barely decrease minimal pay and be certain that drivers have been categorised as impartial contractors slightly than workers in Minnesota, a longstanding aim of the corporate that it has superior in different states.

“We respect the chance to get this proper, and hope the legislature rapidly passes a compromise in February,” mentioned Freddi Goldstein, an Uber spokeswoman.

CJ Macklin, a Lyft spokesman, added that “lawmakers ought to go honest pay and different protections, but it surely should be achieved in a approach that does not jeopardize the affordability and security of those that depend on the service.”

State Senator Omar Fateh, an writer of the invoice, criticized Mr. Walz’s choice on Twitter.

“Today, we noticed the facility firms maintain on our authorities,” he wrote. “The struggle isn’t over, and I promise you I will not again down.”

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