Nandita Bose / Reuters – A lot of gig workers in the United States should be classified as “employees” who deserve work benefits, President Biden’s labor secretary said on Thursday, suggesting a shift in policy that is likely to raise costs for companies that depend on contractors such as Uber (UBER.N) and Lyft (LYFT.O).
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, a son of Irish immigrants and a former union member, has been expected to boost the Biden Administration’s efforts to expand workers’ protections and deliver a win for the country’s organized labor movement.
“We are looking at it but in a lot of cases gig workers should be classified as employees… in some cases they are treated respectfully and in some cases they are not and I think it has to be consistent across the board,” Walsh told Reuters in an interview, expressing his view on the topic for the first time.
“These companies are making profits and revenue and I’m not (going to) begrudge anyone for that because that’s what we are about in America. But we also want to make sure that success trickles down to the worker,” he said.
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