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California AB 5 law: now we need a global law for ‘gig’ workers

12 Sep 2019
Press Release

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is calling for the new AB 5 law in California to be the inspiration for global rules that protect ‘gig’ workers, and all workers, from exploitation and abuse, and deliver them their basic rights. 

AB 5 makes it hard for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors. Companies typically do this as a means of avoiding their duty to provide basic rights, such as minimum pay, sick pay, overtime pay and paid leave.

ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton said: “What the California senate has done in passing this law, with the support of transport workers in the USA, is nothing short of historic and must be the beginning of something big. Global unions see this as a source of inspiration in our fight for an international governance framework for ‘gig economy’ workers, which can put an end to the scourge of misclassification, and other labour abuses.

“Global rules similar to AB 5 would revolutionise the working lives of millions of transport workers by challenging the business model that relies on exploitation and appalling working conditions. We are not just talking about drivers for ride-hailing companies, but subcontracted truck drivers, precariously employed logistics workers, airport workers on contract and more. All transport workers play a full part in the globalised world we live in, and they deserve full workplace benefits whatever they do and wherever they are; they deserve justice.”

The ITF is working closely with its 600+ affiliates to address the impacts of the future of work on transport workers. This includes campaigning for decent working conditions for ‘gig economy’ workers through helping them to organise and influencing local, regional and global policy.


CONTACT: Andy Khan-Gordon, ITF communications officer, +44 7711 356 964. 

ABOUT THE ITF: The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a democratic global union federation of 665 transport workers trade unions representing over 18 million workers in 147 countries. The ITF works to improve the lives of transport workers globally, encouraging and organising international solidarity among its network of affiliates. The ITF represents the interests of transport workers' unions in bodies that take decisions affecting jobs, employment conditions and safety in the transport industry.

For the latest news from the ITF visit 

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