FAS approves Teamsters as first Qualified Driver Representative for Uber/Lyft Drivers

Today the Department of Finance and Administrative Services approved Teamsters Local 117 as the first Qualified Driver Representative organization authorized to represent for-hire drivers that drive for Uber, Lyft and other transportation companies.

According to a spokesperson for FAS, the department received a letter from an attorney representing a group of drivers opposing the Teamsters application, and asked the union to respond to some of the points raised (which it did). In the end, FAS found that Teamsters 117 met all the requirements in the city’s ordinance and FAS’s QDR rules.

From here, the union has 14 calendar days to notify companies of its intent to represent drivers. The companies then have until April 3 to provide Teamsters 117 with a list of qualifying drivers, so that the union can approach them about representation. If Teamsters signs up a majority of the Seattle drivers for a particular company, it can ask FAS to certify it as the Exclusive Driver Representative for that company.

Now that this is all real and no longer just a theoretical exercise, and Uber needs to hand over a list of its drivers, expect it to sue to prevent the disclosure. It tried this last summer but lost in court because the judge couldn’t find a specific injury to Uber; now they can point to one, it will surely refile the lawsuit.