Uber sues Seattle to block union rules for drivers (Read More…)
As rules set to take effect Tuesday, drivers also protest union ordinance at Municipal Tower
Uber Wednesday morning filed a suit seeking to stop implementation of rules that would allow Uber, Lyft and other for-hire drivers to organize as a union.
The motion is only the latest in efforts by Uber—and Lyft—to block the ordinance since the Seattle City Council passed it in late 2015.
“The process the City of Seattle used to create rules concerning the collective bargaining process for independent contractors who drive with transportation network companies (app-based ride-hailing), taxicab and for-hire transportation companies and the rules the city published were arbitrary and capricious,” the motion began.
Uber and Lyft drivers protest outside of the Seattle Municipal Tower, Tuesday, as the city’s law allowing drivers to decide if they want to bargain collectively goes into effect today. Related Stories Uber has been openly critical of the process the city’s Finance and Administrative Services Department used to create the rules needed to put the ordinance into action, but in particular with the survey the city performed to find out how much most drivers worked.
The results were used to decide which drivers be able to vote on whether to organize: Drivers who have were hired or activated at least 90 days prior to the ordinance taking effect (today) and who have driven at least 52 trips in any three-month period in the last 12 months.
A Lyft spokesperson didn’t indicate whether the company planned to join Uber’s motion or not, but did say the city’s rules weren’t good enough.
“We continue to believe that every driver who would be covered by a union agreement should have the right to vote on it,” said Adrian Durbin, Lyft’s director of communications, via email. “The City’s rules, which would disenfranchise a large percentage of drivers, are fundamentally unfair and undemocratic.”
Uber didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Uber also took issue with the fact that the rules are incomplete as a second batch of rules is due out later this year. Drivers are categorized as independent contractors—essentially operating their own business—and it’s still unclear how Seattle’s ordinance will fit with federal labor law that specifically prohibits independent businesses from bargaining together for prices or other market controls.
At least two dozen drivers also took to the streets outside Seattle Municipal Tower Wednesday, protesting the rules and the ordinance in general and calling for drivers to decline any vote toward organizing.
Some part-time drivers fear the Teamsters would push to oust Uber and Lyft from Seattle.
“This is just a big plan, a scheme to push Uber, Lyft, all the rideshare drivers out of Seattle,” said Charles Jenkins, a driver for Uber and Lyft. “And the Teamsters are already sitting back trying to plan their own rideshare company.”
Posted by Admin on 01/17 at 03:19 PM