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Mar 16, 2017

UBER'S DRIVERS * USA: UNIONIZEDS ... ?

* Washington - Uber gears up to block bid to form a Union in Seattle

... Uber is squaring up for a long fight in Seattle to block the nation’s first real unionization effort for app-based drivers, pitting it against the Teamsters labor union and Seattle’s city council. Uber says a union threatens the freedom of its drivers to work as much or as little as they wish and, moreover, isn't something its drivers want... The Seattle tussle is the latest challenge to Uber’s independent contractor model, which pushes expenses such as fuel, vehicle maintenance and insurance on to the drivers, in exchange for the promise of a steady stream of riders and a flexible work schedule. The model is a chief reason for Uber’s $68 billion valuation, though the company has faced a near-constant stream of lawsuits challenging the classification as nonemployees... A Seattle ordinance passed in 2015 took effect in January giving drivers the right to vote to organize, meaning some 10,000 Uber contractors could win the right to negotiate fares and benefits... Uber sued Seattle in January to block the ordinance, taking issue with rules dictating which drivers could vote to join a union... Uber have withstood pressure to treat their contract workers as employees, thereby avoiding payment of full benefits or compensation for expenses like gasoline... 
(Photo: Ride-hailing firm sends podcasts and messages through app to persuade drivers to remain as ‘partners’)   --  Seattle, WASH, USA - The Wall Street Journal/Teamsters, by GREG BENSINGER - MARCH 13, 2017

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