New York State AFL-CIO calls for equal treatment for gig economy workers at today’s Senate hearing

New York– New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento testified today before the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Internet and Technology at a public hearing examining the gig economy.

Cilento told lawmakers that gig workers must be treated equally and fairly and have all the same rights and protections as all other employees.

“We now have an opportunity to enact a full, comprehensive legislative solution that considers all app- based and on demand workers as employees and provides them with the same rights and protections as all other employees, including the right to form a union,” said Cilento.

“These workers are currently being misclassified by their employers and as a result are deprived of minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, paid family leave, disability, comprehensive discrimination protections and the right to form a union.”

Cilento called this a “New Deal” moment.

“We cannot leave any worker behind. By enacting groundbreaking legislation we will not only shape our economy for the 21st century and beyond, but we will ensure fairness and equality into the future by setting a higher standard of living and quality of life for decades to come.

“I applaud Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Senator Savino for addressing this important issue of worker protections,” Cilento added.

The New York State AFL-CIO commissioned a report, which was released last spring by the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations on the work experiences of gig economy workers.



The New York State AFL-CIO is a federation of 3,000 unions, representing 2.5 million members, retirees and their families with one goal; to raise the standard of living and quality of life of all working people. We keep New York State Union Strong by fighting for better wages, better benefits and better working conditions. For more information on the Labor Movement in New York, visit