Teamsters to form its own Uber "Drivers' Association" in Cal.

Benjamin Sachs

Benjamin Sachs is the Kestnbaum Professor of Labor and Industry at Harvard Law School and a leading expert in the field of labor law and labor relations. He is also faculty director of the Center for Labor and a Just Economy. Professor Sachs teaches courses in labor law, employment law, and law and social change, and his writing focuses on union organizing and unions in American politics. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 2008, Professor Sachs was the Joseph Goldstein Fellow at Yale Law School.  From 2002-2006, he served as Assistant General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington, D.C.  Professor Sachs graduated from Yale Law School in 1998, and served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the New York Times and elsewhere.  Professor Sachs received the Yale Law School teaching award in 2007 and in 2013 received the Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence at Harvard Law School.  He can be reached at [email protected].

On a day of huge Uber news, there’s another interesting item.  According to a Teamsters’ press release, Teamsters Joint Council 7 “notified Uber of their intent to organize California drivers” yesterday – the day before Uber announced its intent to create a drivers’ association (as part of the O’Connor settlement). As the union press release states, “After receiving overwhelming outreach from Uber drivers, representatives of Teamsters Joint Council 7 have announced plans to form an association for workers in California’s rideshare industry.”

A developing story, and too soon to know anything definitive.  But the timing is obviously striking.  And, timing aside, this sets up the possibility for two drivers’ associations at Uber in California.  One association would be affiliated with a genuine, outside and autonomous union.  The other would be a creation of management.

Definitely worth watching.

Update: Appears that the Teamsters may be working to organize workers into the Association that Uber is developing per the settlement.  Still developing.

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