On Tuesday, the Council’s Governance, Equity and Technology Committee will take up an ordinance making a big change to its 2015 ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to unionize — and in the process cutting the heart out of the ordinance.
Yesterday afternoon Council President Bruce Harrell let it be known that he intends to look at a series of issues related to taxis, for-hire drivers, and Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft. His intention would be to bring forward legislation in the first quarter of 2018.
Today Judge Robert Lasnik granted the U.S. Chamber of Commerce a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against the City of Seattle over its ordinance authorizing Uber and Lyft drivers to engage in collective bargaining. But it wasn’t all good news for the Chamber of Commerce and its member companies.
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.
Last December, the City Council passed landmark legislation giving drivers for Uber and Lyft the right to engage in collective representation and bargaining. The ordinance delegated to the Director of the Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) department the rulemaking associated with defining the requirements for a Qualified Driver Representative (QDR) and the process for a QDR to officially be recognized as such and assume responsibilities for its members. The Council instructed FAS to have the rulemaking done no later than 240 days from the date the bill became law, which is September 19th.
You may recall that the Mayor declined to sign the ordinance, allowing it to become law with neither his assent nor his veto. In a letter to the Council, he explained:
I remain concerned that this ordinance, as passed by the Council, includes several flaws, especially related to the relatively unknown costs of administering the collective bargaining process and the burden of significant rulemaking the Council has placed on City staff…. As this ordinance takes effect, my administration will begin its work to determine what it will take to implement the law. I believe it will be necessary to seek additional clarifying legislation from the Council.
The Mayor’s letter was prescient.
The City Council’s vote yesterday to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize continues to garner national coverage. Plus a few other things from yesterday’s marathon Council meeting… Continue reading News roundup: Uber and more