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Appeals court delays Seattle’s Uber and Lyft drivers union law

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked the enforcement of a Seattle law that gives drivers for ride-hailing startups such as Uber and Lyft the right to form a union. The court said the order would give the US Chamber of Commerce time to complete its appeal.

The law, passed in 2015, gives drivers the ability to band together to negotiate pay rates and employment conditions, among other conditions. The law lets organizations that want to represent drivers get contact information from the ride-hailing companies to reach out to drivers and try and drum up support for collective bargaining.

Currently, these drivers are considered independent contractors and are not protected by traditional labor standards — including Seattle’s $15 per hour minimum wage law. They also do not have collective bargaining rights covered by the National Labor Relations Act.

Lyft said that these rules would disenfranchise approximately 70 percent of its drivers, and for Uber, that number is about half.

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