The Stand

Despite ruling, for-hire drivers vow to keep pushing for rights

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The following is from Teamsters Local 117:

SEATTLE (May 14, 2018) — Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire industry expressed frustration at Friday’s ruling by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that partially reverses a lower court’s decision to uphold Seattle’s collective bargaining law.

“Drivers are deeply disappointed with this decision, which continues to delay our right to unionization,” said Don Creery, an Uber and Lyft driver and member of the leadership council of the App-Based Drivers Association (ABDA). “Anti-trust laws were put in place to protect the little guy from monopolistic practices from large corporations, not to shield a company like Uber – valued at over $70 billion – from negotiating with its workers over fair pay and working conditions.”

Drivers called on the City of Seattle to enact new policies to protect drivers, level the playing field in the industry, and ensure that drivers can earn a living wage.

“Drivers have already waited for years for fair pay and the right to a union. This court decision emphasizes the urgent need for the Seattle City Council to step in to improve pay for drivers and pass a Driver/Passenger Bill of Rights,” Creery said.

Because of their disputed status as independent contractors, for-hire drivers who work for Uber and Lyft have not been protected by traditional labor laws or state and local laws, such as Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage law and Washington State’s new paid sick leave law. In April, the City of Seattle passed a resolution to study the industry and consider regulations that could lead to better pay and other protections for drivers.

In 2014, Uber and Lyft drivers sought assistance from Teamsters Local 117 to improve their pay and working conditions. In May 2014, drivers established ABDA to promote fairness, justice, and transparency in the for-hire industry.

“We are disappointed by the Court’s ruling that continues to block drivers from having a voice,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “Like other working people in this country, for-hire drivers should have the same freedom to stand together in their union to improve their pay and working conditions. We will continue to stand with drivers for their right to unionize, earn a family wage, and to raise standards in the industry.”

Teamsters Local 117 represents 16,000 men and women at 200 employers across Washington state. Members of Local 117 cover almost every profession imaginable. Local 117 members are warehouse workers, truck drivers, law enforcement officers, waste water treatment professionals, office clerical workers, correctional officers, public sector professionals, and many more. Learn more.

Short URL: http://www.thestand.org/?p=66684

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