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Gig work front group run by lobbying firm Mercury falsely claimed support from Buffalo community organizations

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04.06.2021

App-based drivers line up outside New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in protest of a proposed bill to codify misclassifying workers as independent contractors (by NY Taxi Workers Alliance, via Twitter)

The New York Coalition for Independent Work – a front group operated by the lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs – has been falsely claiming that grassroots community organizations in Buffalo and across the state endorse the coalition’s effort to deny workplace protections to people who work for Uber, Lyft, and other gig work companies. Furthermore, lobbyists working for the gig work front group have cited this false support to try to induce at least one other organization to endorse the campaign.

On a version of the New York Coalition for Independent Work website archived on January 8, 2021, shortly after it was re-launched under Mercury’s control, the group listed Citizen Action of New York, the Coalition for Economic Justice, Groundwork Buffalo, New York Renews, Open Buffalo, PUSH Buffalo, Stop the Violence Coalition, and the Western New York Peace Center as coalition members. Another organization, the Partnership for the Public Good, was contacted by a representative of the New York Coalition for Independent Work who cited these groups in a request for the Partnership’s support.

None of these groups actually endorsed the coalition, however.

In fact, several of the organizations are critical of Uber and Lyft and have spoken out against the gig work business model, which relies on misclassifying workers as independent contractors to evade minimum wage and requirements and to shift operating costs off of the companies and onto their workers.

Emails obtained by PAI show that after Mercury falsely named........

© Eyes on the Ties


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