Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist


Gig workers, by definition, are "independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers” (Wikipedia). It is estimated that there are 20 million gig workers in the United States – many who have full-time jobs in addition to their gig gig.

Hold that thought.

Ever since the Supreme Court ruled this past June that Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional, abortionists have resurrected the old phrase “my body, my choice.” Of course, when they say this, they are not talking about the fetus, which they dehumanize, but rather the woman carrying the fetus.

“My body, my choice” is a nice phrase if it did not ignore the fetus which has no one to speak for him or her.

But the Biden administration does not always agree with “my body, my choice.”

When it comes to the gig economy, Biden’s Labor Department doesn’t agree with “my body, my choice.” On Oct. 11, it unveiled that it would reclassify independent contractors as company employees. By reclassifying these workers as employees, these workers would be covered by overtime and minimum wage laws that don’t apply to contractors.

“Labor unions have been pushing the Biden administration to go after industries that rely on contractors, including ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft, noting that those workers are losing out on key benefits and will have trouble unionizing due to their contractor status.

“The Labor Department said that misclassification is a problem in a host of industries, including home care, janitorial services, delivery, trucking and construction. The department said the widespread issue makes it difficult for some businesses to compete with those that misclassify their workers as contractors.” (Source: The Hill.)

This idea started in the place such ideas often start: California.

Of course, the Biden Administration is no more interested in protecting union workers than it is in protecting any other Americans. What it is interested in is getting these people unionized and collecting a part of their pay, through their unions, to support the Democratic Party. Not surprisingly, along with this idea, the Biden Administration wants to do away with “Right to Work” states.

Interestingly, and of course not related (sarcasm) the AFL-CIO announced in early September its “largest ever voter mobilization” effort. They aim to connect 100,000 volunteers with 8 million voters ahead of the mid-term elections.

“My body, my choice” is a phrase used by the left on an expediency only basis. When it comes to abortion, yes, use it. When taking away a person's choice on how to work, there is no such thing as “My body, my choice.”

There is a company that connects gig workers with jobs. It is called Upwork. Upwork has done the paperwork and the filings to make borders transparent. My company uses Upwork for design and web services. Very good people doing very good work.

Many of the people on Upwork are outside the United States. Upwork makes that transparent to the worker and the company needing services, too. Upwork makes it difficult for domestically based gig workers to compete. This new ruling will make this problem worse.

I have a niece in Nashville who is a gig worker in the music industry. Nearly everyone serving the music industry in Nashville is a gig worker. It is already tough for her to compete. This new ruling will make it even tougher.

What the Labor Department is going to do is drive more demand to Upwork where its gig workers are beyond the laws of the United States, causing more work to be done by those outside our country. But that’s OK as long as we capture the union dues from the 20 million inside the U.S. that are gig workers.

Vote accordingly.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at [email protected]