California's Prop 22 Sparks Outrage as Albertsons, Vons Lay Off Drivers

Delivery drivers at Albertsons, the country's second-largest grocery chain, are among the latest workers facing the impact of California's Proposition 22, a new law that allows ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and other app-based delivery services to classify their drivers as independent contractors, rather than employees.

Several public figures and others on social media have expressed outrage against the latest law, which gives workers fewer protections around pay, healthcare, sick leave and other benefits they'd be entitled to as employees.

Drivers at grocery stores including Vons, Pavilions and other subsidiaries of Albertsons are expected to lose their jobs at the end of January, Knock LA reported.

"Albertsons Companies made the strategic decision to discontinue using our own home delivery fleet of trucks in select locations, including Southern California, beginning February 27, 2021," a spokesperson for Albertsons, Andrew Whelan, confirmed in a statement.

"We will transition that portion of our eCommerce operations to third-party logistics providers who specialize in that service," the statement added.

Comedian Adam Conover tweeted Monday: "Vons and Albertsons stores in California just laid off every one of their full-time, union delivery drivers, and will replace them with DoorDash gig workers who receive no benefits as a direct result of Prop 22."

Comedian and writer Riley Silverman noted Tuesday: "Something needs to be done about California's voter initiative ballot items that allow laws like Prop 22 to be on the ballot in the first place. It's far too easy now for big businesses to self-craft laws that benefit them, and then flood the market with misleading ads," in a post on Twitter.

Something needs to be done about California's voter initiative ballot items that allow laws like Prop 22 to be on the ballot in the first place. It's far too easy now for big businesses to self-craft laws that benefit them, and then flood the market with misleading ads. https://t.co/vxZtpVgUBP

— Riley Silverman (@rileyjsilverman) January 4, 2021

Kiera Feldman, an investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times, tweeted: "Wow that was fast. Vons firing unionized drivers, switching to Doordash 'after the passage of Proposition 22, which gutted worker protections while making it easier for companies to shift financial burdens onto newly-designated independent contractors.'"

Mark Horvath, founder of the non-profit Invisible People, wrote: "These layoffs are unsurprising after the passage of Proposition 22, which gutted worker protections while making it easier for companies to shift financial burdens onto newly-designated 'independent contractors.'"

These layoffs are unsurprising after the passage of Proposition 22, which gutted worker protections while making it easier for companies to shift financial burdens onto newly-designated “independent contractors.” https://t.co/iS4t5mUYSs

— Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) January 4, 2021

Twitter user @YashkatheNinja wrote: "Prop 22 was a libertarian nightmare from moment 1 and now the terrible ramifications of it are starting to hit workers. If you live in CA [California], avoid these stores/delete the DoorDash app," in a tweet that has received at least 816 likes and 353 retweets at the time of reporting.

User @EclecticRadical wrote: "If you voted for Proposition 22 in CA, congrats, you just helped get all of Vons' and Albertson's delivery drivers fired. How does it feel?" in a post that has received at least 458 likes at the time of reporting.

NYC food delivery driver December 2020
A food delivery worker waiting to pick up food at Cafe Fiorello in New York City on December 25, 2020. Delivery drivers at Albertsons, the country’s second-largest grocery chain, are among the latest workers facing the impact of California's Proposition 22. Getty Images