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Judge Allows Class-Action Suit Against Uber

September 4, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Sept. 1 that Uber drivers qualified to proceed with a class-action suit against the company for defining them as independent contractors instead of employees. “The court concludes that a number of Uber’s class certification arguments are problematic,” Judge Edward M. Chen wrote, saying there was “simply no basis” to Uber’s claim “that some innumerable legion of drivers prefer to remain independent contractors rather than become employees.”

Airgas Workers Join NYS Teamsters

Aaugust 31, 2015
By Tara Jessup


Lake Success, N.Y. - Drivers, plant operators and fillers at the Airgas facility in Islandia, N.Y., have voted to join Teamsters Local 282. The successful effort was the culmination of hard work by the organizing committee and business agent Mike Bourgal.

Special Report: Uber and The Taxi Industry

August 27, 2015
By Steven Wishnia

Part 4: The Company That Wants No Regulation

Uber uses a classic Internet-era business model: It avoids any investment in inventory, equipment, or permanent production workers, and gets its revenue from creating a connection between producers and consumers and taking a cut from that.

Special Report: Uber and The Taxi Industry

August 26, 2015
By Steven Wishnia

Part 3: Union Prospects: Still Waiting for Lefty

Organizing New York City cab drivers into a sustainable union has daunted some of the nation’s most renowned labor leaders since the 1930s. Over the last 15 years or so, however, two unions have won some victories, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance for yellow-cab drivers and the International Association of Machinists District 15 for black cabs. The NYTWA is the first “worker association” formally affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Special Report: Uber and The Taxi Industry

August 25, 2015
By Steven Wishnia

Part 2: Driving for Williams: How Cab Drivers Make a Living

“Driving for Williams” is an old cabbies’ expression for driving to pay the bills. It’s never been an easy way to make a living. Incomes fluctuate depending on whether “there’s money out there.” And even before Uber came on the scene, taxi drivers’ wages had barely increased since the 1980s.

Court Upholds SeaTac Airport's $15 Minimum

August 25, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Washington’s state Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on August 20 that the $15-an-hour minimum wage the city of SeaTac voted in 2013 also covers hospitality and travel workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport there. The court rejected claims by Alaska Airlines and employers’ trade groups that because the airport is run by the Port of Seattle, the city didn’t have jurisdiction to enforce the $15 minimum.

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