Senator Ben Hueso’s Conflict of Interest Highlighted Regarding His New Anti-Union, Anti-Taxi Driver Bill AB1243

via Channel 10 News

Taxi companies are backing newly elected state Senator Ben Hueso’s efforts to change cab regulations. Hueso’s brothers own a cab company.

The Sacramento Bee says Hueso’s bill would make cab drivers independent contractors instead of cab company employees.

According to the newspaper, Hueso’s bill has angered his supporters in the labor unions and revived a long- time debate over whether a legislator should introduce a law to which he may have personal or financial ties.

Do you think legislators should be able to do that?

UTWSD’s Response to AB1243: The United Taxi Workers of San Diego’s opposes AB 1243, as it does nothing to protect taxi drivers, it only strengthens the economic advantages taxicab companies and taxi medallion holders have. Taxi owners who lease their cars to independent contractors are already divorced from the economic uncertainty that lease drivers face every single shift.

The United Taxi Workers of San Diego supports reform of the taxi industry in California. Lease taxi drivers in San Diego are a majority immigrant work force that is largely struggling to make a minimum wage. Many drivers are making under $4.50 an hour. This industry needs reform in many facets. However, this bill fails to address any of the issues drivers and passengers face on a daily basis.

This bill as written creates a presumption that would be difficult to overcome for taxi drivers 
who have been treated as employees by their dispatcher or medallion holder. Several of the factors that section (c) of the bill specifically exempts from consideration in rebutting the independent contractor presumption are in direct conflict with the well- settled IRS 20 factor test.

The hardship on taxi drivers created by this bill, whose bargaining power is already near zero, is unconscionable. Taxi company owners and drivers are already free to create the economic relationship that they desire. This bill would give an advantage to taxi owners by shielding them from overreaching activity in the event that they either; did not clearly define contractual terms with their own drivers, or did not abide by the terms of the contact they agreed to.

For more info please contact UTWSD at info@utwsd.org