Andrew Yang discussed WWE wrestling contracts with the Department of Labor
Andrew Yang says he has been in contact with the US Department of Labor regarding the status of WWE wrestlers as “independent contractors.”
US politician / entrepreneur Andrew Yang said he has been in contact with the US Department of Labor over his objections to World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) classification of his wrestlers as “independent contractors.”
“I had a call with the Ministry of Labor,” Yang wrote on Twitter. “If you are a current or a former [WWE] interpreter who believes that you have been wrongly classified as an independent contractor, contact [labor lawyer Lucas Middlebrook] and let yourself this [WWE Chairman/CEO Vince McMahon] owes you. It’s been a long time to come, but this story is real. “
I had a call with the Ministry of Labor. If you are a current or a former @WWE performer who believes you have been wrongly classified as an independent contractor contact @lkmiddleb and let’s go get what Vince owes you. It’s been a long time to come, but this story is real.
– Andrew Yang🧢🗽🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) September 16, 2021
Yang followed up his tweet with another paying homage to former WWE wrestler Bo Dallas (real name Taylor Michael Rotunda), writing, “All you have to do is bo-lieve.” In addition, Yang assures this “[e]The first feedback is positive. “
WWE has long classified its wrestlers as independent contractors rather than employees. This has caused the company to receive quite a bit of criticism over the years, as it means that performers signed with the company do not receive the same benefits as if they were classified as full-time employees.
For example, WWE does not provide health insurance for its wrestlers. And while the company does cover their plane tickets, WWE wrestlers would have to pay for their own ground trips, hotels, and food. In addition, wrestlers do not enjoy the same freedoms that are generally enjoyed by independent contractors. It should also be noted that since they are classified as independent contractors, wrestlers in WWE cannot unionize.
Former presidential candidate Yang entered the conversation last year when WWE reportedly issued an edict banning its wrestlers from using third-party platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Cameo, and OnlyFans on pain of fines, suspension or even dismissal. The company then clarified its new policy, granting exceptions to wrestlers who used YouTube and Twitch under their real names, rather than their WWE names. However, the company later took control of said YouTube and Twitch accounts, offering the wrestlers who run them only a percentage of the revenue generated.
Yang shared his thoughts on this in October 2020. “It would piss me off if I spent time building my social media channels just for WWE to replace them with their ‘independent contractors.’ People are angry and rightly so, ”he said. “Hear from talent that WWE is forcing artists to sign new contracts that include Twitch. Streaming on Twitch will become a work obligation and if talents don’t stream, they will forfeit their earnings, be suspended or face penalties. not look like independent contractors. “
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