Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale released the following statement as the Wisconsin Supreme Court hears oral arguments to decide if drivers who deliver packages for Amazon are employees:
On December 19, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear arguments on a fundamental aspect of employer-worker relations: who is an employee. The case involves drivers who deliver packages for Amazon but has much wider implications. The emergence of the gig economy has created a situation in which many workers have been considered independent contractors by employers, depriving us of many important rights we as employees enjoy, including minimum wage, overtime pay, and unemployment insurance.
The rights and protections to which employees are entitled are the product of many years of struggle by the labor movement. These rights must not be stripped away simply because the modalities of doing business have changed. Denying workers our rightful status as employees undermines Wisconsin’s proud history as a leader in employment law and turns back the clock to a darker era for working people.
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will impact workers for years to come. To not uphold the Wisconsin Appeals Court and administrative courts’ decision would set a dangerous precedent for all workers in our 21st century economy.