Lonely Planet Writer

Seattle council to vote on ride-sharing union rights

On Monday the Seattle city council is expected to vote on whether to allow ride-sharing drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft to unionize.

Seattle, Washington.
Seattle, Washington. Image by Tiffany von Arnim / CC BY 2.0

If passed, the decision would extend collective bargaining rights that exist for taxi and other for-hire drivers to the app-based providers, which are considered independent contractors and are typically excluded from such labour rights. According to the Associated Press, Seattle ride-sharing drivers are primarily made up of immigrants who make less than minimum wage and aren’t granted basic worker protections like sick leave.

Uber and Lyft oppose the measure. Uber says federal laws bar cities from regulating collective bargaining rights for independent contractors, and, if passed, the ordinance would allow transportation providers to artificially drive up transportation costs. A spokesperson for Lyft said the proposed ordinance ‘imposes substantial costs on passengers and the city, and conflicts with longstanding federal law’. Read more: seattlepi.com