November 13, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that taxi drivers in Tucson, Arizona, have the right to join labor unions, despite being classified as independent contractors.
In a decision late last month, the board overruled a regional director who said the about 200 drivers at AAA Transportation/Yellow Cab could not seek collective bargaining through the Office and Professional Employees International Union. The case turned on the NLRB’s September 2014 decision in FedEx Home Delivery, in which it held that to be legitimate independent contractors, workers must have genuine “entrepreneurial opportunity” instead of being under the employer’s control.
The Tucson Yellow Cab drivers, it said, has to lease cabs bearing the company logo, were trained by the company and had to follow its rules, and most important, depended on its dispatch system to get fares, instead of picking up street hails and getting customers on their own. The decision is likely to affect cabbies in smaller cities where drivers are usually dispatched from a central point, but not in cities where they usually take street hails. Read More