And then, of course, there`s Flex. If suppliers continue to shift to non-unionized workers and independent contractors, the sector could shift from a sector where workers can support a family to one where they earn less than the minimum wage. According to Viscelli, this is what has happened in the long-distance transport sector. The average truck driver now earns about 40,000 $US, up from the equivalent of $100,000 in 1980. For me, an independent contractor meant that the job was lonely, with no colleagues to share stories with, and no boss who wondered about the many confusing aspects of a driver on the first day. (Flex drivers complained that even though they complained about the assistance, they often received a form letter that made them feel like they were working for a robot and not for a company that employs real people.) Many drivers go on Facebook to share stories and tips, but I didn`t find these pages until much later. My only interactions, apart from the park watch officer, were with people receiving the packages, who often said a distracted “thank you” while tearing up their packages, and with receptionists who nodded me at post offices crowded with brown boxes. Kelly Cheeseman, an Amazon spokeswoman, told me that Flex is a great opportunity for people to be their own boss and set their own schedule. While workers prefer to be employed full-time and not independent contractors, the company has a “great diversity” of full-time and part-time opportunities, she said. (Of course, many full-time jobs are also physical challenges. Chris Miller, the Cleveland worker, told me he would rather work as a contractor than work as an employee for Amazon, which is infamous for its stress and pressure among employees.) California`s Supreme Court ruled in April that companies must use an “ABC” standard when deciding how they classify workers. The standard already used in Massachusetts and New Jersey means that a worker is an independent contractor only if the work is performed without instruction or control of the employer outside of the employer`s usual activity and is performed by someone who has his own independent business that performs this type of work. .