Caitlin Moran
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Uber Drivers Can Now Unionize in Seattle

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Uber and Lyft drivers can now unionize in Seattle
Photo: Julien GONG Min

Since its founding, Uber has claimed that its drivers are independent contractors and, therefore, aren’t capable of federal protections. Now, it looks like Uber drivers are getting their rights after all—at least in Seattle.

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The Seattle City Council voted on Monday to allow Uber, Lyft, and other for-hire drivers the right to unionize. This is a big step for the drivers of these companies, especially since the transportation giants have been trying to prevent this from happening. By allowing the drivers to unionize, these companies might lose the edge they have over traditional taxi services. With this decision, Uber drivers can now participate in collective bargaining.

Despite the backlash faced from the transportation companies, many drivers have been pushing towards unionization over the past few years. In fact, Takele Gobena, a leader in the push for Uber driver unionization, was temporarily removed from his position at the company after he participated in a news conference with Mike O’Brien, a Seattle City Council member who sponsored the bill.

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“My intent is to make sure that the people, the drivers, the workers in our community continue to have access to good wage jobs,” said Mike O’Brien. “I am proud Seattle is continuing to lead the nation in advancing labor standards for our workers.

Uber and Lyft have plans to fight the ordinance in court. It’s possible that this is the beginning of a snowball effect in the United States’ transportation industry. I guess we’ll see what happens next!

News Source: Digital TrendsNext-Article-Button