In December 2015, the Seattle City Council adopted an ordinance setting up the framework for unions to organize and collectively bargain on behalf of drivers for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.
Because drivers are independent contractors, not employees, of the companies they drive for, they are not permitted to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Seattle’s ordinance puts drivers on the fast track to unionization. It requires the rideshare companies to hand over drivers’ personal contact information to unions seeking to organize them and deprives drivers of the ability to vote on whether to unionize in a secret ballot election. Instead, the ordinance allows unions to approach drivers one-on-one and pressure them to sign union cards. If the union can get a majority of drivers to sign cards, the union is certified to represent all drivers.
Further, as interpreted by city regulators, the ordinance blocks many drivers from having any say at all about whether to unionize.
Teamsters Local 117 is currently attempting to organize Seattle Uber and Lyft drivers.
In partnership with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, the Freedom Foundation is representing 11 rideshare drivers in federal litigation challenging the legality of Seattle’s ordinance.
On April 4, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking enforcement of the ordinance and the Teamsters union campaign. The litigation is ongoing.
In an op-ed for the Daily Caller, Dickerson explains his opposition to being forced into a union against his will.
“Thankfully for me and all the other drivers who wish to keep their money and represent our own interests without a union, Freedom Foundation and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation have taken up our cause,” writes Dickerson.
Also, in a new video interview with the Freedom Foundation, Dickerson talks about how the independence he prizes in his work as a rideshare driver would be jeopardized by unionization.
“I like the flexibility. I can work when I choose and where I choose,” says Dickerson in the video.
“I don’t need a union and I don’t want to be forced into one.”