A judge has placed a hold on what would have been the first law in the U.S.to allow drivers of ride-hailing services to unionize.
Brazilian cab drivers have complained that Uber and similar companies are unfair competition because their drivers don't have to pay city fees or undergo official inspections. The Chamber, which counts ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft as members, argued the ordinance violates antitrust laws by allowing independent contractors to collude through collective bargaining to fix prices.
In his ruling, the judge said his decision shouldn't be read as an indication of how he'll rule when the issues are fully briefed.
The Boston Herald said the drivers were let go after Uber and Lyft received the results of the background checks this week.
The Teamsters Union Local 117, which backed the law, now hopes to contact drivers about unionizing but needs their information from the ride-share companies to reach them all. "However, under MA law, Lyft's commercial background check provider, like all consumer reporting agencies, is legally prevented from looking back further than seven years into driver applicants' histories", Lyft said in a written statement.
MA officials said Wednesday that 8,206 of the 70,789 applicants-more than 11 percent-were rejected, according to media reports. City attorneys argue that independent contractors are more akin to the first three than supervisors and the city has the authority to permit them to unionize.
Lyft spokesman Adrian Durbin said the company's background check provider is legally prevented from looking back more than seven years. Uber immediately sued to halt the plan from moving forward but was stymied by a Washington state judge who ruled in favor of the city late last month. He said he felt encouraged by the judge's comments that the city's law was prompted by "reasonable public policy concerns". "These drivers aren't guaranteed any minimum wage".
"We knew they were going to do everything they could to stop drivers from having a voice", Teamsters 117 Business Representative Dawn Gearhart tells The Stranger today.