LOS ANGELES — Lyft driver Michael Robinson has had to wage not one, but two campaigns for increased benefits as a rideshare driver.

The first time was about a year ago, when he would go to Sacramento to tell politicians about passing Assembly Bill 5; which would affect how companies classify their workers and what kind of benefits they receive.

What You Need To Know

  • Prop 22 would exempt rideshare companies from the worker protections in Assembly Bill 5

  • Uber and Lyft have spent close to $200 million to convince voters to pass Prop 22, a state record

  • A judge has ruled that rideshare apps must abide by AB 5; so Prop 22 is Uber, Lyft, DoorDash's last chance to be exempted

  • Uber and Lyft have warned that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost or they may be forced to leave the state if Prop 22 fails

“We would tell them that we need this to pass. We deserve to be employees and we are losing our money and this is everything that we are going through,” said Robinson.

After AB 5 passed, he never imagined he would battle the same thing all over again a year later when Uber and Lyft wrote Proposition 22; asking voters to exempt them from those worker protections in AB 5.

“They want their workman’s comp. They want their paid sick days. Like if we crash our cars, that’s all on us. Lyft just says, if you don’t have a car, you don’t work,” said Robinson.

He says he's tired of big companies squeezing the little guy. First it was his job making transmission coolers. It got shipped to China. Then when he joined Lyft full-time in 2016, he saw his take-home pay steadily decrease.

“We want to become employees, get our employee rights, and then we want to form a union,” Robinson said.

But it was exactly that structured employee life, with bosses and a schedule that 61-year-old Jack Kinney was trying to escape when he left his job more than a year ago.  

“The week that I quit and started doing rideshare, is the week my wife got her diagnosis. So, there was no questioning, there was never a doubt as to where I should be,” said Kinney.

The flexibility of the job allowed him to be with his wife, for every cancer appointment and chemotherapy treatment. Although there is nothing in AB 5 that limits flexibility, drivers like Kinney think that will go away if Prop 22 fails, so if that happens he'll quit app-based driving.

“There will be no more freedom and that freedom absolutely allowed me to care for my wife as I felt it was necessary to be a good husband to her and to provide for her,” said Kinney.

Robinson wants to be able to provide for his family too, he just thinks passing Prop 22 will make it harder for him to do that.

“I am voting for the future, I’m voting for the present too. We got to stop these billionaires from making their own laws,” Robinson said.