Big tech or big labor? 2020 Democrats line up with unions


In this Aug. 28, 2019, photo, supporters of a measure to limit when companies can label workers as independent contractors drive their cars past the Capitol during a rally in Sacramento, Calif. California lawmakers are debating a bill that would make companies like Uber and Lyft label their workers as employees, entitling them to minimum wage and benefits. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Organized labor is flexing its muscles in a pitched battle with Big Tech in California — far from the traditional union strongholds in industrial states.

And the Democrats who want to be president aren’t shy about picking sides.

It’s a rare case of presidential politics playing a high-profile role in a state policy dispute.

The California clash is between labor unions and tech giants such as Uber and Lyft, and it involves the very definition of work in a changing economy.

A labor-backed bill would make it harder for tech companies to classify workers as independent contractors, who aren’t entitled to minimum wage or workers’ compensation.

It’s a debate with national implications.

And just as the nature of labor is changing, so too is the notion of the “labor vote.”

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