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Uber poll: Drivers 'overwhelmingly support' independent contractor status

Uber poll: Drivers 'overwhelmingly support' independent contractor status
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Ride-hailing giant Uber released a poll showing their drivers “overwhelmingly support” being classified as independent contractors.

The survey, first obtained by Axios, found 82 percent of drivers support their independent contractor status. Only 15 percent said they would prefer a traditional employment status.

“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,” according to the firms that conducted the poll — Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group.

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Ride-hailing apps like Uber contract drivers who use their own vehicles and work on their own terms. Though some may work as many hours as a full-time employee, they are not entitled to a health insurance or other benefits.

Uber has started discussing a flexible benefits plan for drivers that would allow them to keep their independent status. The new poll found 89 percent of drivers support the 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“Our current employment system is outdated and unfair.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,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote in an op-ed this month.

Earlier this month, ride-hailing firm Lyft released a similar poll with Morning Consult that found 82 percent of its drivers preferred their independent contractor status and 90 percent described it as a “good arrangement.”

“[Lyft] is doubling down on a familiar message from gig economy companies: Most independent contractors don’t want to be employees,” that poll said.