The union-friendly goals of Biden’s NLRB don’t take into account the economic damage that could result from allowing rideshare drivers to organize. To that end, the Board tossed out a relevant 2019 appeals court ruling, thereby restoring contractors’ abilities to organize and picket upon private property where they do gig work.
As expected, app-based drivers for Uber and Doordash noticed this development. These gig workers rallied in Boston for bargaining rights while demanding that companies allow drivers to keep more profits from each ride, especially in a time of higher gas prices, which will surely also lead to higher rates for customers.
The SEIU and International Association of Machinists are encouraging the Independent Drivers Guild to continue this fight. More support comes from Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, who brought a 2020 lawsuit against Uber and Lyft with the goal of transforming app-based drivers from independent contractors into full-blown employees with benefits, higher pay, and the right to bargain.
The Uber-focused debate also came to New York, where drivers went on strike after Uber sued New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to block significant raises across the app-driving board. Those raises would have led to “typical” drivers instantly making $1,000 more per month due to various adjustments to their driving rates.
In D.C., the NLRB’s quest to overturn the 2020 joint-employer rule came under fire by Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Brain. The GOP lawmakers urged Chairman Lauren McFerran to consider detrimental effects upon franchises, which could be forced to shoulder $33 billion in costs if contractors are allowed to claim more than one employer. The lawmakers point out that, in turn, this would transform into job losses.