US Chamber of Commerce Sues Over Seattle law letting Uber drivers unionize

by Sean Riley


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Thursday sued the city of Seattle over a new law that allows drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions.

The “unprecedented” ordinance violates federal antitrust law and is pre-empted by federal law, the lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle argues. It also says the ordinance illegally allows for-hire drivers to get together and set rates and restricts the freedom of independent contractors.

The law “will burden innovation, increase prices, and reduce quality and services for consumers,” said the chamber, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that represents more than 3 million businesses.

In December, Seattle became the first city in the country to allow drivers of taxis, for-hire transportation companies and app-based ride-hailing services to bargain with their employers, if a majority shows they want to be represented by a union. Drivers would be represented by nonprofit organizations certified by the city.

A spokeswoman for the Seattle City Attorney said Thursday that the office is reviewing the complaint and will file a response with the court.