Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 24, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house
Workers were out of work thanks to a Big Labor louse
MADISON — ’As Michael Watson from Capital Research reports, California’s union-favor law, backed by Vox Media is coming back to bite. Now, the liberal publication has had to cancel its contracts with freelance contributors in the state to comply with the law, “putting hundreds of writers out of work (or at best slashing their income) just in time for Christmas,” Watson wrote.
In its zeal to punish the “gig economy,” California passed Assembly Bill 5. The measure, backed by the California Labor Federation, takes aim at the likes of Uber and Lyft. It limits the ability of firms to classify workers as contractors rather than employees.
Unions hate that, mainly because they hate the competition and they despise anything that takes away their ability to squeeze every drop of union dues out of the American worker.
Vox writers like to trumpet Big Labor’s talking points. They praised the legislation as “a historic moment for the US labor movement” and expressed hope that “hundreds of thousands of workers — possibly millions — will see an immediate impact on their working conditions after the switch.”
“And for their colleagues at SBNation, Vox Media’s largely freelancer-based sports writing division, that happened — though not in the way the Vox writers hoped, but almost assuredly in the way unions intended,” Watson wrote. The law limits the number of paid contributions a freelance writer can make, so Vox was forced to let go more than 200 California-based writers.
There’s a critical lesson in California’s job-killing law for Wisconsin.
In April, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order creating a Joint Enforcement Task Force on Payroll Fraud and Worker Misclassification. It’s a hefty title for a board made up of many of Evers’ Big Labor pals looking to limit business’ ability to hire independent contractors.
Their aim in particular is to go after the construction trade, but the gig (side job) economy also appears to be in their crosshairs.
The takeaway: be very wary of unions bearing gifts.