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Appeals court grants Uber and Lyft an extension after threat to leave California –



A California appeals court on Thursday halted a court order that would have forced Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to treat their drivers as employees, rather than independent contractors beginning Friday.

The court’s decision prevents a looming shutdown of Uber’s and Lyft’s ride-hail services in California. The companies had said they would be unable to comply with a new law that would consider their drivers employees entitled to benefits such as minimum wage, overtime and sick pay and unemployment insurance.

In a blog post published prior to the decision, Lyft said on Thursday said it would have suspended its California operations at midnight.

“What … politicians are pushing is an employment model that four out of five drivers don’t support,” the blog post said. “This change would also necessitate an overhaul of the entire business model — it’s not a switch that can be flipped overnight.”

In its own blog post, Uber said it would have to temporarily shut down unless the appeals court intervened.

Lyft shares dropped 6.2 per cent to $26.41 US, while Uber shares were down 2.3 per cent to $28.74 US.

The companies have sought the intervention of an appeals court to block an injunction order issued by a judge last week.

That ruling forced the companies to treat their drivers as employees starting Thursday after midnight. Uber and Lyft have said it would take them months to implement the mandate.

War of words

The threat to suspend service in the most populous U.S. state marks an unprecedented escalation in a long-running fight between U.S. regulators, labour groups and gig economy companies that have upended traditional employment models.

California, a state frequently seen as a leader in establishing policies that are later adopted by other states, in January implemented a new law that makes it difficult for gig companies to classify workers as independent contractors.

A judge on Aug. 10 ruled that Uber and Lyft had to comply with the law beginning on Friday, forcing them to treat their ride service drivers as employees entitled to benefits including minimum wage, sick pay and unemployment insurance.

Uber’s fast-growing food delivery business Uber Eats is not impacted by the shutdown, the company has said. Other gig economy companies, including DoorDash and Instacart, will also be able to continue operating under the contractor model.

The shutdown comes at a time when demand for rides has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic, with California among the U.S. states with the slowest recovery, according to the companies.

Both Uber and Lyft were founded in California and the state still makes up a disproportionate share of their customers bases. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

California represents nine per cent of Uber’s global rides and Uber Eats’ gross bookings, but a negligible amount of adjusted earnings, Uber said in November.

Lyft does not have a food delivery business and last week said California makes up some 16 per cent of total rides.

Uber and Lyft say the vast majority of their drivers do not want to be employees. The companies say their flexible on-demand business model is not compatible with traditional employment law and advocate for what they call a “third way” between employment and contractor status.

Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates are spending more than $110 million to support a November ballot measure in California, Proposition 22, that would enshrine their “third way” proposal and overwrite the state’s gig worker bill.

Labour groups reject the companies’ claims that current employment laws are not compatible with flexible work schedules and argue the companies should play by the same rules as other businesses. They say the ballot measure would create a new underclass of workers with fewer rights and protections.

An Aug. 9 poll among Californians by Refield & Wilton showed 41 per cent of voters planned to support the companies’ proposal and 26 per cent opposed it, with the remainder still undecided.

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'A heartbreak': Ranchman's searching for new owner amid COVID-19 pandemic – Calgary Herald



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“With everything happening and the Calgary downtown being almost completely empty, it’s created sort of the perfect storm for restaurant killing and hospitality killing.”

Ranchman’s has been synonymous with Calgary cowboy culture for nearly 50 years after it first opened its doors April 27, 1972.

The country nightclub was a popular spot during the Calgary Stampede and throughout the rest of the year, being named the “Country Club of the Year” by the Canadian Country Music Association 11 times.

The venue temporarily shut its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17, and it has remained closed since. Nightclubs such as Ranchman’s are not permitted to reopen until Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch, and public-health officials have said there is currently no timeline for when that might happen.

The bar was founded by Harris Dvorkin and Kevin Baker but ownership traded hands in 2017, following Dvorkin’s death. Calgary bar scene mainstay Doug Rasberry purchased the property alongside a group of local business owners.

Members of the Ranchman’s ownership group did not respond to numerous requests for comment from Postmedia.

Campbell said owners were only talking to “a select few people” about the situation.

“This was a heartbreak for him. Doug (Rasberry) was the first guy, when I took Ranchman’s to the market three and a half years ago, Doug lit up like a kid at Christmas. He was so excited to have an opportunity to take this history on,” he said.

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Calgary’s famous Ranchman’s country bar up for lease; iconic rafter saddles seized by bank – Global News



Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall in Calgary, a country bar known for its rafter saddles and mechanical bull, is up for lease.

The building that hosts the bar, at 9615 Macleod Trail S.E, has been listed publicly for the first time in its history.

The real estate company running the lease told Global News that the building is available after the current owners terminated their lease due to COVID-19 economic struggles.

It had initially been taken over by new owners in 2017 — when the former owners sold the business, but kept ownership of the building itself.

Read more:
Ranchman’s new owners to preserve iconic Calgary restaurant, cowboy culture

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One concern is the iconic saddles that hang in the rafters have been seized by the bank, said realtor Rob Campbell.

Even though they don’t belong to the business owner, they’re being considered assets and are in the process of being seized.

Campbell said he’s received many calls with concerns from local members of the rodeo community over the loss of the history.

Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall.

Global News

Ranchman’s opened in 1972, nearly 50 years ago.

It closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17 and has not reopened.

Read more:
Consumers left with worthless passes and gift cards following COVID-19 business closures

Nightclubs are part of Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch and are not permitted to be open in the province yet.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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20 new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Saskatchewan push provincial total past 1,800 –



The number of COVID-19 cases recorded in Saskatchewan continues to climb.

On Sunday, the province recorded 20 new cases, bringing the provincial total to 1,807. 

Of the new cases, 10 are in Regina, seven are in Saskatoon and two are located in the South East zones. The location of one more case is pending. 

The province indicated the seven new cases in Saskatoon are linked to the outbreak at Brandt Industries, where a total of 14 cases have been linked to the workplace. The Government of Saskatchewan indicates investigation has shown this outbreak may be linked to out-of-province travel.

This is the third day in a row the province has recorded double-digit increases. On Friday, the province recorded 19 new cases and 11 new cases on Saturday. 

Of the province’s 1,807 total cases, 140 are considered active and 1,642 are considered recovered. Twenty-seven of the 140 active cases are in communal living settings. 

The number of people in hospital has remained static at 10.

Active cases in Saskatchewan can be seen detailed in this graphic published by the Government of Saskatchewan as part of it’s daily COVID-19 updates. On Sunday, the province had annouced it recorded 20 new cases, bringing the provincial total to 1,807. (Supplied/Government of Saskatchewan)

According to the province’s daily update, nine people are receiving inpatient care and one is in intensive care. Seven of those patients are in Saskatoon, one is in Regina and another is in the South Central zone. The intensive care patient is currently receiving treatment in Saskatoon. 

Drive-thru testing in Regina will also be expanded and will now be available on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. When the drive-thru testing launched, it was originally open on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Hours at the drive-thru testing site in Saskatoon have gone unchanged. 

So far, the province has conducted a total of 171,945 COVID-19 tests, with 2,426 conducted on Saturday alone. The province also announced it reached an important milestone when it comes to testing over the weekend, as it set a testing record with 2,873 tests conducted Friday.

That’s compared to the province’s previous record of 2,129 tests performed Aug. 6, 2020.

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