In Defense of the Gig Economy

The “gig” economy – where individuals earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods, often through a digital platform like an app or website –-  grew increasingly attractive to workers during the COVID-19 pandemic for the flexibility and extra earning potential it offered. Unfortunately, gig workers have been met with resistance lately by Big Labor. Why? If their actions to rewrite labor law and turn these positions into unwarranted, traditional employment jobs is any indication, it’s simply because Big Labor hasn’t found a way to get a cut of the action.

PA Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Alex Halper addresses this problem in the national publication The Hill, writing in defense of gig economy workers. He writes that as employers found creative ways to operate in the COVID economy, so, too, did workers – and in the process, they found they liked being able to set their own schedules and connect with customers in their preferred way. This is their right! And it’s why the PA Chamber joined hundreds of organizations opposing a Big Labor-backed federal proposal targeting the gig economy with blanket national workforce standards. While these changes have been proposed under the guise of opposing “worker misclassification,” there are other, more effective ways to address these issues.

“All stakeholders … should join to combat worker misclassification by working with employers to ensure compliance, educate workers, and crack down on bad apple violators in the business community. But they should also partner with protect independent work arrangements that comply with the law and benefit everyone involved,” Halper wrote.

Make no mistake, the proposed changes backed by organized labor would have lasting consequences across a number of industries – from trucking to freelance photographers and other creative professionals, DoorDash and Instacart delivery workers, and more. We realize how much these jobs mean to the people who work in them for a variety of reasons, and we’re committed to advocating for them by urging federal lawmakers to oppose Big Labor’s attempted assault on the free and flexible gig economy.

You can read the full op-ed here.