Following years of litigation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Rasier LLC (wholly owned subsidiary of Uber), and the City of Seattle agreed to dismiss the lawsuit challenging the Collective Negotiations Ordinance (Ordinance 124968). The City, Uber and Lyft have agreed to issue the below public statements. The Order For Dismissal was entered by the U.S. District Court of Western Washington today.
City of Seattle Statement:
The City is pleased that Uber and the United States Chamber of Commerce have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit challenging our Collective Negotiations Ordinance (Ordinance 124968), which allows for-hire drivers to collectively negotiate over certain terms of their relationship with transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft. The City is delighted with the shared commitment by TNCs to working together on the implementation of the Fare Share Plan to support drivers in Seattle and thereby benefit the broader community, and to avoid challenges by TNCs to the Plan, legally or by ballot measure. The City will now focus on collective efforts with TNCs supporting the implementation of the Fare Share Plan to achieve our shared goals of improving opportunities and protections for TNC drivers. The Fare Share Plan creates fair compensation standards and worker protections for Uber and Lyft drivers, while also making investments in affordable housing and transit. The Plan requires that drivers be paid at least the equivalent of Seattle’s large employer minimum wage, plus benefits and expenses. The precise compensation standard will be established after the City completes a thorough evaluation, including an academic study, driver surveys, and public outreach. The plan also establishes an independent and non-profit Driver Resolution Center that will provide culturally competent outreach and education to drivers, and free skilled representation before a neutral arbitrator in disputes when a driver is restricted (deactivated) from using the TNC app. Collectively these measures promote stability for drivers, which in turn promotes safe and reliable for-hire transportation for the public. The City appreciates and applauds cooperation and support by TNCs in implementing our Fare Share Plan.
Uber has committed to working with the City of Seattle, organized labor, rideshare drivers, and other interested parties on the development of a new social safety net for independent contractors, including benefits, worker protections, and wage regulations. Despite extensive efforts by many parties during 2019, no consensus was reached, and Mayor Durkan proposed new ordinances on these topics that were passed and signed into law in late 2019. While Uber expressed concerns about some aspects of these new laws, following passage, Uber committed to supporting the City of Seattle on the implementation of these ordinances in an effort to achieve the underlying, shared goals of improving opportunities and protections for rideshare drivers. To date, Uber has provided data and information to the third party researchers commissioned by the City to conduct a driver earnings study, and facilitated contact between City staff and rideshare drivers in support of the City’s outreach efforts. Uber looks forward to the opportunity to work cooperatively on the development of new rules and regulations for the Driver Resource Center, which we believe can provide valuable support to drivers without compromising the safety of drivers, riders or the public. We also are committed to supporting Mayor Durkan’s work on a new earnings standard equal to the City’s minimum wage plus reasonable expenses, expected to be in front of the City Council this spring or summer. We believe that this new earnings standard can provide security for drivers without disrupting the work flexibility that drivers value or the underlying business model that provides this freedom, and we will support the passage of a new standard that achieves these goals. We will continue to support the City’s goals and expect with industry and the City working cooperatively, we will avoid the need for any further challenges to the ordinances, whether legally or through a local or state ballot measure.
Lyft is committed to working with the City of Seattle, rideshare drivers, and other stakeholders to develop a new social safety net for independent rideshare drivers. Despite extensive efforts in 2019 by Mayor Durkan, Lyft and Uber to achieve this goal, a consensus was not reached on our earnings guarantee offered last year. A new safety net with a minimum earnings guarantee and fair worker protections would strengthen the opportunities for independent rideshare drivers to supplement their income through the platform.
Although we expressed concerns with the implications of the Mayor’s “FareShare” ordinances that were adopted by Council, Lyft seeks to cooperatively work on the development of rules for a newly established Driver Resource Center to provide valuable support to drivers without compromising driver, rider, or public safety.
Lyft looks forward to working with the City in a way that achieves our shared goals of improving opportunities and protections for drivers while maintaining the affordability of the service for all Seattleites. We expect to be able to work cooperatively on a sustainable future for the industry, and as long as that’s the case there should be no need for further legal or ballot challenges to the Fare Share ordinance.