The New York Times: Seattle Will Allow Uber and Lyft Drivers to Form Unions

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From The New York Times:

by Nick Wingfield and Mike Isaac

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to approve a bill allowing drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing apps to form unions.

Council members voted 9-0 in favor of the ordinance, the first legislation of its kind in the country. The decision was greeted with cheers in a City Council chamber packed with supporters holding placards that read “Driver Unity.” The measure is likely to be challenged in court.

The vote is a victory for the App-Based Drivers Association, or ABDA, of Seattle, an organization of on-demand contract workers that lobbied with the local Teamsters union for the legislation. It is a fight that other drivers around the country have watched closely; union organizers in California have said that the outcome of the Seattle vote could influence actions taken in their own cities.

One member of the City Council, Nick Licata, called the vote “history-setting in what we’re attempting to do here in terms of advancing the rights of drivers.”

The ordinance is also the latest headache for Uber, which is in battles about employment issues across the country. The company faces a class-action lawsuit in California on behalf of some drivers who wish to be considered full-time employees, not contractors. Uber has consistently resisted that effort, underscoring the flexibility its service affords those who drive for the company.

Read the full article from The New York Times.