Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill

Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez rips 'public charge' decision: 'The American Dream isn't a private club with a cover charge' Democrat questions new border chief's involvement in Facebook group with racist, sexist posts The DCCC's 'blacklist' protects a white male political status quo MORE (D-N.Y.) called out former Democratic Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerFormer Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer joins DC lobbying firm Hillicon Valley: Ocasio-Cortez clashes with former Dem senator over gig worker bill | Software engineer indicted over Capital One breach | Lawmakers push Amazon to remove unsafe products Ocasio-Cortez blasts former Dem senator for helping Lyft fight gig worker bill MORE (Calif.) on Thursday for working on behalf of Lyft to fight a California bill that would make it harder for the ride-hailing platform and other gig economy companies to withhold employee benefits.

“Fmr officials should not become corporate lobbyists, in letter or spirit. It’s an abuse of power + a stain on public service,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter Thursday. “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.”

Boxer wrote an op-ed earlier this week for the San Francisco Chronicle in which she criticized the bill and revealed that she was hired by Lyft as an adviser.

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Neither Boxer nor Lyft immediately responded when asked for comment.

The legislation, called AB-5, would make it harder for companies such as Lyft and Uber to classify their drivers as independent contractors as opposed to employees, which would entitle them to significantly better benefits.

The companies see the pending legislation as a significant threat to their business models. In her op-ed, Boxer argued it would also mean that drivers would lose the freewheeling nature of their ad hoc work for gig platforms.

“Switching to an employee model will mean far fewer opportunities to drive,” she wrote. “For many drivers, the lack of flexibility will put driving out of reach completely.”

The bill has garnered an unusual amount of national political attention. Three of the top contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination — Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP Iowa senator suggests Trump impeachment defense could hurt Biden at caucuses On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Sanders launches first TV ads in Nevada MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' On The Money: Stocks close with steep losses driven by coronavirus fears | Tax season could bring more refund confusion | Trump's new wins for farmers may not undo trade damage Overnight Energy: Sanders scores highest on green group's voter guide | Trump's latest wins for farmers may not undo trade damage | Amazon employees defy company to speak on climate change MORE (D-Mass.) and Boxer’s successor Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Harris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? MORE (D-Calif.) — have all backed the proposal and argued for more worker protections in the burgeoning gig economy.