Uber Approves Guild to Represent Drivers

The ride-sharing company Uber has agreed to allow the formation of a guild to represent their drivers in New York. The drivers have formed the Independent Drivers Guild. The guild will allow Uber drivers to meet with managers, appeal driver deactivations, access discounted legal counsel, life and disability insurance, and give access to education, roadside assistance, and an online worker center. However, unlike a union, the guild will not be able to collectively bargain for higher fare rates or retirement plans. The guild is a tandem creation of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers as well as the drivers themselves.

The deal benefits both Uber and the drivers. The drivers receive more benefits than they would otherwise have, and Uber will have far less turnover and enticements for more new drivers, and thus, more profit. Their main competition, Lyft, does not have any kind of system set up for this purpose.

The IAM is also working with Uber to push for equal sales taxes for all Taxis and Livery services in New York state. Currently, Uber customers pay tax as a percentage of the fare, whereas, Taxis and Livery service customers are charged a flat tax of .50. A standard tax would save money for Uber customers in New York and allow more customers to thus use the service.

Uber is working with the Freelancers’ union to bring “portable” benefits to  what it calls “on-demand drivers”.

Read More: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/10/uber-just-agreed-to-let-a-labor-union-represent-its-drivers-in-new-york.html

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Uber drivers seek alliance with the Teamsters Union to fight for Better Benefits.

Drivers with the online transportation and ride-sharing company Uber are joining together with the Teamsters Union in an effort to obtain better benefits. The goals of the drivers and the Teamsters Union are primarily to re-classify Uber drivers as employees of Uber. Currently, drivers with Uber are classified as independent contractors and must supply their own insurance and retirement plans. However, the efforts of the Teamsters Union as well as the Uber drivers themselves may soon change that.

Efforts on the West Coast

In California, the joint forces of the Teamsters Union and Uber drivers have created the App-Based Drivers Association (ABDA). The organization will collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and to reclassify Uber, Lyft, and other app-based ride-share drivers as “employees” and not “independent contractors”.This will be especially beneficial to California Uber drivers, since the company’s home turf is in San Francisco. It is the hope of ABDA to inspire similar efforts in other states. Uber maintains that unionization doesn’t make sense for ride-share services because most of their drivers only work part-time. The company recently started a campaign to convince drivers to resist unionization.

Teamsters International Vice President Rome Aloise stated recently, “We welcome any Uber drivers seeking to improve their working conditions. By coming together, the Teamsters will help these drivers have a stronger voice and improve standards for rideshare drivers in California.” ABDA will have a long fight ahead of itself, however, as Uber and Lyft are already fighting a law that would allow contractors- including Uber and Lyft drivers- to organize in unions in Seattle.