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Chamber Sues Seattle Uber Drivers

U.S. Chamber of Commerce sues to block Seattle Uber Drivers from gaining Collective Bargaining Rights.

Workers Independent News's picture
Mar 08, 2016

"It's just been sued by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They're suing and they're trying to enjoin the law's implementation. The U.S. Chamber sued last Thursday to go ahead and stop it from going into place."

Leonard Smith, Teamster Local 117 Director of Organizing and Strategic Campaigns. He's talking about the new Seattle law giving Uber drivers and other taxi drivers collective bargaining rights.

Smith says Uber and similar companies are pretending their drivers are not employees with all the legal rights and benefits employees are entitled to.

[Leonard Smith]: "What's going on with Uber drivers and others in this industry is not unique to Seattle. It's going on in every city in the United States where drivers are tryin' to earn a living. They're essentially being starved. As Uber keeps cutting mileage rate and mileage rate and mileage rate, they can't afford to put gas in the car. They're saying well, you know, this is our livelihood , we thought we could make money here, so we need to change this. We need to do something."

Smith says many Uber drivers find that after deductions for wear and tear on their vehicles, gas costs, Uber's control over the rates and their 'safe rider fee', their actual hourly wages are low. He says one Seattle Uber driver made less than $3 an hour after expenses were deducted.

Smith says in Seattle Teamsters Local 117 is using an App Based Driver's Assoication to assist the organizing and collective bargaining efforts of taxi drivers.

This report is from Doug Cunningham at Workers Independent News

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