SEATTLE – Seattle may soon become the first city to let drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft collectively bargain over pay and working conditions, a move opposed by the companies and one seen as a test case for the changing 21st century workforce.
The city council is to vote Monday on whether to extend collective bargaining rights for drivers of taxis, for-hire transportation companies and app-based ride-hailing services that are part of the growing on-demand economy.
Councilmember Mike O'Brien says for-hire drivers as independent contractors are excluded from such protections so he wants give them a say in their working conditions. Independent contractors aren't covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which allows for collective bargaining.
San Francisco-based Uber and others say federal labor law prevents cities from regulating collective bargaining for independent contractors, and the ordinance would violate federal antitrust laws