At first, when Waymo told the workers at its Chandler, Arizona facility last year that they would be vendors instead of contractors, the workers were thrilled.
As contractors, the workers — including the drivers who sit behind the wheel of the company’s autonomous cars — had been required by labor law to take a six-month break every two years and then reapply for their jobs. As vendors, they wouldn’t have to take the break and reapply for jobs they already did.
“We were all happy about this idea of not losing our jobs in two years,” one worker at the facility said. Another person recalled being told they “would be treated more as ‘equals’ to the full-time Waymo employees.”