Push to Unionize Ride-Hailing Drivers Dropped in Legislature

Thirty-two state and national business organizations opposed the bill proposed by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez

A longshot proposal to allow Uber drivers and all other independent contractors in California to unionize is being withdrawn.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said Thursday that she used AB1727 to draw attention to workers who cannot negotiate their pay or working conditions.

Federal law does not extend collective bargaining rights to independent contractors like architects, masseuses or workers dispatched through mobile applications like Uber and Lyft.

The San Diego Democrat and union supporters say those workers deserve the benefits that come with being classified as regular employees.

Thirty-two state and national business organizations opposed the bill. They argue the broad proposal would hurt businesses and jeopardize the use of independent contractors.

Gonzalez says it won't pass this year and she'll make changes before trying again.

In December, Seattle became the first city to allow ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions, NBC News reported.

Uber and others say federal labor law prevents cities from regulating collective bargaining and that the ordinance would violate federal antitrust laws. Lyft urged the mayor and council to reconsider the measure.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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