NPR logo Seattle Becomes First U.S. City To Give Uber And Lyft Drivers The Right To Unionize

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Seattle Becomes First U.S. City To Give Uber And Lyft Drivers The Right To Unionize

Seattle on Monday became the first U.S. city to vote to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize and negotiate issues such as pay and working conditions.

The National Labor Relations Act regulates the right to unionize, but it doesn't guarantee that right for independent contractors like the Uber and Lyft drivers.

The Seattle measure directs companies like Uber and Lyft "that hire or contract with drivers of taxis, for-hire transportation companies and app-based ride-hailing services to bargain with their drivers, if a majority show they want to be represented," the Associated Press reports.

It passed the City Council 8-0.

Mayor Ed Murray says he will not sign the bill because of the potential cost to the city, but he won't veto it so the measure will become law without his signature.

Murray told council members he supports the right of workers to unionize, according to the AP.

Uber objects to the new legislation, The Seattle Times adds.

"Uber is opposed to Seattle enacting O'Brien's ordinance and has ramped up its engagement in the city in advance of the council's vote. David Plouffe, a former political strategist for President Obama now serving as Uber's chief adviser, visited Seattle earlier this month to promote the company and criticize the ordinance."

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