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Pete Buttigieg calls out Google, Uber in new economic policy

The presidential candidate rebukes tech companies for their treatment of gig workers.

Lawmakers And Presidential Candidates Attend NAACP National Convention

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg participates in a Presidential Candidates Forum at the NAACP 110th National Convention on Wednesday.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is big tech's latest critic. His new economic plan, called "A New Rising Tide," seeks to implement gig worker rights and gender pay transparency, according to a blog post published Friday.

Buttigieg said he'll support the "ABC test" to make sure workers aren't denied minimum wage and their chance to unionize. The ABC test determines that a worker is "free from employer's control," is "performing work outside of the employer's usual course of business" and works as an "independent business in the industry." Among other initiatives, the former mayor said he wants to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act -- currently awaiting the Senate's approval -- which would ban an employer from using an employee's past salary history to determine pay. 

His policy comes at a time when other Democratic presidential candidates have rebuked big tech companies. Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday sued Google, alleging the search giant was "intermeddling" in the election. The $50 million suit claims that Gmail had sent Gabbard's campaign emails to spam folders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been championing the breakup of tech giants, including Amazon, Google and Facebook.

"More than half of workers in Google's offices do not share in Google's success because they are domestically outsourced temps and contractors," Buttigieg stated. "Millions of Uber and Lyft drivers lack basic protections because they're misclassified as independent contractors."

Google has previously come under file about its treatment of employees. Last year, a New York Times report said Android creator Andy Rubin was accused of sexual harassment by a co-worker.  Uber, meanwhile is grappling with its own leadership board. In the past two months, the company has lost three board members, including Arianna Huffington. 

The ride service says it's been working with drivers on plans for compensation.

"We've been at the table with stakeholders offering a plan that would guarantee drivers an earnings floor tied to minimum wage plus expenses; a robust package of portable benefits they can access no matter which rideshare company they drive for," said a spokesperson for Uber. 

Google, on the other hand had stated in April that it would require companies that supply its temporary and contract workers to provide full benefits and a $15 minimum wage

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