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 to voters: Tell McConnell 'he is playing with fire' with Ginsburg's seat Lawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (D-N.Y.) called out former Democratic Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Bottom line Polls show big bounce to Biden ahead of Super Tuesday 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 SandersNYT editorial board remembers Ginsburg: She 'will forever have two legacies' Two GOP governors urge Republicans to hold off on Supreme Court nominee Sanders knocks McConnell: He's going against Ginsburg's 'dying wishes' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGOP set to release controversial Biden report Biden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE (D-Mass.) and Boxer’s successor Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSocial Security and Medicare are on the ballot this November Harris honors Ginsburg, visits Supreme Court The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump and Biden vie for Minnesota | Early voting begins in four states | Blue state GOP governors back Susan Collins MORE (D-Calif.) — have all backed the proposal and argued for more worker protections in the burgeoning gig economy.