Drivers for transportation apps like Lyft and Uber have reached a significant milestone, making tremendous strides, when they won the right to a union in Seattle. According MSN.com, Seattle’s City Council unanimously accepted this motion recently, which is a huge win for the drivers of this new and up-and-coming industry. Prior to this, Uber or Lyft drivers’ independent contractors’ status prevented them from organizing a union under U.S. regulation, however this is the very first legislation within America that provides this type of option to these drivers.
The decision by the city council in Seattle is really only an initial step when it comes to unionization for these workers. A huge portion of the drivers from each transportation app company are now required to visit certified not-for-profit organizations to seek representation. According to Teamsters-backed App-Based Drivers Association, after a sufficient number of drivers join such an organization, a group potentially could start collective bargaining on behalf of them.
Experts note that this could prompt drivers in other cities to move forward with unionization, however they might meet their fair share of legal obstacles. According to the New York Times, courts could lean towards breaches of antitrust rule regulations by preciously causing costs to increase. Federal labor laws could also stop the drivers from unionizing.
This ruling in Seattle is the most recent attempt to try and outline what these workers do, and place them within labor regulations. These transport-app organizations state the drivers’ status as independent contractors offers them greater overall flexibility. Still those drivers working for Uber in California have currently launched a pending class-action lawsuit, stating the organization should provide them with full employee status, and reimburse them for expenses paid.