A federal judge this month dismissed a lawsuit by the US Chamber of Commerce against the city of Seattle over an ordinance allowing independent contractor drivers for human cloud firms such as Uber and Lyft, as well as traditional taxi firms, to organize for union representation.
Judge Robert Lasnik ruled the chamber did not have standing to sue, according to court records.
“Neither of the chambers’ members [Uber and taxi firm Eastside for Hire] has suffered an injury that is traceable to the ordinance and would be redressed if the ordinance were declared invalid or enforcement were otherwise enjoined,” according to the ruling. “Thus, the chamber itself has no standing to pursue the claims asserted in this litigation.”
However, while there are no damages now, the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, allowing it to be filed again in the future.
The chamber filed the lawsuit in March, claiming other cities could adopt similar but different legislation and the situation would result in a Balkanization of the market for independent contractor services.
Seattle’s City Council unanimously approved the ordinance last December, and it covers Uber and Lyft drivers as well as those who driver for taxi companies. The rule allows the city to certify organizations as eligible driver representative organizations. Such organizations will be able to receive lists of eligible drivers from companies such as Uber and Lyft in order to organize the workers. The city would review any collective bargaining agreements.
The rule was described as groundbreaking at the time.
A letter this month filed with the court by the city, indicates the city may take six more months to draft final rules to put the ordinance in place.