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Seattle Votes to Allow Uber, Lyft Drivers to Unionize

Wall Street Journal (12/15/15) Douglas MacMillan

Seattle’s city council has approved legislation that will allow drivers of services like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. to unionize, giving them the ability to negotiate their pay and working conditions. This is the first time a U.S. city has opened the door to unions for ride-hailing drivers.

“Unfortunately, the ordinance passed today threatens the privacy of drivers, imposes substantial costs on passengers and the city, and conflicts with long-standing federal law,” a Lyft spokesperson said.

Since the city council’s decision, drivers for ride-hailing services in Hawaii, Connecticut, Kansas, North Carolina, and New York have inquired about advocating for legal reforms in those states, according to Dawn Gearhart, a spokesperson for Teamsters Local 117.