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Attorneys for the Freedom Foundation have joined forces with the Washington, D.C.-based National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to file a federal lawsuit to prevent the forced unionization of Uber and Lyft drivers in Seattle.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of 11 independent contractors working with the two for-hire ride-sharing services. It alleges an ordinance passed by the city of Seattle in 2015 illegally targets independent workers for compulsory representation by the United Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The ordinance authorizes unionization through the coercive and unreliable card-check system as opposed to a secret ballot vote, and allows union officials to make payment of union dues or fees mandatory, even for drivers who oppose union representation.
Under “card check,” cards solicited and collected from individuals by professional union organizers are counted as “votes” for unionization, despite numerous examples of workers signing the cards as a result of being pressured, misled, threatened or even bribed.
The drivers’ federal lawsuit argues the Seattle ordinance is preempted by the National Labor Relations Act and that imposing union representation and forced dues on them violates their First Amendment’s rights of free speech and freedom of association.
Dan Clark, the lead plaintiff in the case, sat down with us to talk about his thoughts on unionizing. Here is Dan’s story.
That’s all for this week—until next week, I’m David Bramblett—stay informed.