Rep. Ayanna Pressley Joins Opposition To Big Tech Ballot Initiative

Democratic Legislators Hold News Conference To Introduce Rent Legislation

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BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley announced her support for "Massachusetts Is Not For Sale", a growing coalition of consumer, civil rights, and labor advocates who are opposing a Big Tech sponsored ballot question aiming to rewrite Massachusetts law in order to eliminate critical worker and consumer protections.

On Saturday, Pressley joined a wide range of allies involved in the coalition, including a number of prominent community and labor leaders who are women of color, uniting with their efforts to encourage a No vote on the proposal.

The group says the Big Tech “loophole law” would allow companies like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, to do away with key consumer and worker protections, including minimum wage, overtime, anti-discrimination, unemployment, workers compensation provisions that currently protect all employees in Massachusetts. The push for the loophole law has been decried by a growing number of stakeholders as an effort that also undermines democracy and the Commonwealth's social safety net, as Big Tech companies pump record amounts of cash into their front group coalition.

A similar proposal that passed in California after Big Tech companies spent $200 million to purchase its passage has been declared unconstitutional in a recent court ruling.

“I am proud to stand and join the fight with the Massachusetts Is Not for Sale coalition in opposition to efforts to buy out our labor laws, residents, and workers in Massachusetts,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley. “Safeguarding the rights of workers is a critical part of the effort to advance racial and economic justice in the Commonwealth, and we must resist any and all efforts to strip away critical protections. With this legislation and ballot question, major corporations are seeking to create a false choice and undermine the guaranteed right of gig workers in Massachusetts to be paid a living wage, access paid leave, have high-quality healthcare, and more - changes that would disproportionately impact Black, brown, and immigrant workers. I look forward to working alongside workers, advocates, and the members of Massachusetts Is Not For Sale to safeguard the rights of every worker in our communities.”

In response to Pressley’s announcement, a spokesperson from the rideshare companies, who call themselves "Flexibility and Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers," said that they support the ballot question and “(w)e hope elected officials will listen to their constituents, and drivers in Massachusetts have been clear: more than 80%, including 83% drivers of color, support this ballot question to protect their independence and secure new benefits.”

WBZ's Mike Macklin reports

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