An Uber-branded vehicle. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Seattle approves letting Uber drivers unionize

SEATTLE – Seattle has become the first city in the nation to allow drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions.

The legislation the City Council approved Monday is seen as a test case for the changing 21st century workforce. The companies strongly oppose it and are expected to challenge it in court.

The council passed the measure on an 8-0 vote. It requires companies that hire or contract with drivers of taxis, for-hire transportation companies and app-based ride-hailing services to bargain with its drivers, if a majority show they want to be represented.

San Francisco-based Uber and others argued federal labor law prevents cities from regulating collective bargaining for independent contractors, and the ordinance would violate federal antitrust laws.

Supporters say many drivers are immigrants who depend on full-time work, but some make less than minimum wage and lack basic worker rights.

Uber and others say federal labor law prevents cities from regulating collective bargaining for independent contractors. They say the ordinance would violate federal antitrust laws by allowing independent transportation providers to conspire to artificially drive up transportation costs.

Just Posted

SFUSD going back to basics with school lunches made from scratch

Upgraded culinary center could serve as model for expanded in-house food production.

Sliding doors could open up more space on Muni buses

A simple engineering change could soon make Muni’s 900 buses roomier across… Continue reading

City struggles to find alternatives for inmates in seismically unsafe jail

Mayor London Breed has given City Hall a deadline to close down… Continue reading

E-scooter company Skip announces layoffs after losing SF permit

San Francisco-based e-scooter company Skip this week announced pending layoffs for roughly… Continue reading

Juul suspends sale of flavored e-cigarettes

San Francisco-based e-cigarette maker Juul Labs announced Thursday that it is suspending… Continue reading

Most Read