Uber and Lyft just avoided a shutdown. How they got here and what’s next

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The warnings are the result of California’s efforts to bring gig economy companies in compliance with state labor law — a clash that threatened to come to a head this week.

An emergency stay granted Thursday by a California appeals court temporarily defused the situation, allowing Uber and Lyft to continue operating under their current model for the time being. But unless a resolution is reached, millions of Californians who use Uber and Lyft to hail rides may yet find themselves forced to resort to other modes of transportation.

In early August, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ordered the companies to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors, building in a 10-day window for the companies to appeal the move. With that window closing Thursday night, Uber and Lyft had threatened to shut down services at midnight Thursday, saying they cannot transition their business models quickly enough. Lyft reiterated that threat in a blog post Thursday morning, saying: “This is not something we wanted to do.”

“Uber and Lyft are threatening to kill jobs in California. I believe the companies are trying to force us into a decision around giving them what they want, and that’s Prop. 22, which is to keep denying us basic labor protections and benefits we have earned,” said Cherri Murphy, a ride-hailing company driver for about three years. An Oakland resident, Murphy is also an organizer with labor groups Gig Workers Rising and Rideshare Drivers United, which have fought to win protections for drivers.

Uber pushed back on this assessment, saying many drivers prefer to remain independent contractors. “The vast majority of drivers want to work independently, and we’ve already made significant changes to our app to ensure that remains the case under California law. When over 3 million Californians are without a job, our elected leaders should be focused on creating work, not trying to shut down an entire industry during an economic depression,” Uber spokesman Davis White said in a statement.

“Fortunately, California voters can make their voices heard by voting yes on Prop. 22 in November,” Zimmer said, and if passed, the measure “would protect driver independence and flexibility, while providing historic new benefits and protections.”

San Francisco’s district attorney sued food delivery app DoorDash in June, alleging worker misclassification. Uber said it anticipates a similar fight on this front.

Source: LA Times

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Rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony enter sponsorship deal with restaurant franchise Buffalo Wild Wings, collaborate on marketing campaign ‘Boneless Thugs’ to promote Boneless Wings

It’s almost unheard of for musicians to change their name after 25 years, especially when that change is part of a marketing campaign for an American casual dining restaurant known for their chicken wings. In either a coup for marketing professionals everywhere or a sign that no one (even legendary hip-hop groups) are immune to capitalism’s allure, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony announced on February 19th that their new name is Boneless Thugs-N-Harmony — a homage to Buffalo Wild Wings.

In addition to the overarching name swap, three members of the group will also go by new monikers. Krayzie Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, and Wish Bone are now Krayzie Boneless, Flesh-N-Boneless, and Wish Boneless. According to the marketing materials released by Buffalo Wild Wings, Layzie Bone is not on board with the new “Boneless” identity. “I ain’t changing shit,” Layzie says in a Behind The Music-esque spoof released in conjunction with the announcement. “Bone Thugs-N-Harmony changes their name to Boneless. It’s preposterous.”

According to Seth Freeman, the CMO of Buffalo Wild Wings, there’s a complicated, non-monetary reason for the name change. “These boneless wings are so good, what if they made Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have an identity crisis,” Freeman wrote in a statement. In reality, the group’s longtime manager Steve Lobel says he was approached by a marketing agency a few months ago about the campaign. “Three of the four were down with it,” Lobel says. “Layzie Bone was hesitant, and he’s still hesitant about it. He wasn’t with it, but the other three gentlemen were.” Lobel has worked with the group since 1994, meeting them through Eazy-E.

Source: Rolling Stone