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The Right Enemies

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With Marty Walsh leaving as Secretary of Labor to take over the NHL Players Association, Biden selected Julie Su to replace him. Su should have been the pick to begin with, although Walsh did a good job. Well, there are a lot of angry corporations about this and let me tell you this–I cannot think of a greater endorsement of Su than Uber hating her.

A group representing Uber, Lyft and other app-based services is raising concern about President Biden’s nominee to lead the Labor Department over her stance on worker-classification rules.

In a letter to Biden dated Monday, the Flex Assn. asked that the nominee, Julie Su, explain how she would implement a proposed rule that could make it easier for workers to be considered employees rather than independent contractors “in a manner that protects independent work.”

It also requested that the Labor Department “delay action” on the proposal until the Senate confirms a nominee for secretary. Gig companies such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart rely heavily on contractors to staff their fleets and have closely scrutinized the rule.

The letter illustrates the battle lines being drawn around Su’s nomination to replace Marty Walsh as Labor secretary. Business groups and Republicans have criticized her support for measures affecting the gig economy, while she has earned plaudits from Democrats and labor groups for her stance on workers’ rights.

The White House sent Su’s nomination to the Senate last week, allowing the confirmation process to begin.

Flex Chief Executive Kristin Sharp wrote to Biden that the group is concerned that Su “does not fully appreciate the potential impact” of the measure and “has a record indicating an oppositional approach to policymaking that carries real implications as she seeks to be elevated to serve as the department’s primary policymaker.”

What this means is that Julie Su thinks that gig workers should have rights and Uber and Lyft do not. What more do you want from a Secretary of Labor than the leading companies of the day freaking out about it?

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