Seattle City Council: Give Drivers a Voice

All over Seattle, passengers and drivers for on-demand services like Uber and Lyft, as well as other supporters are standing up to say: It's time to make sure drivers for companies like Uber & Lyft get the same access to workers' rights as everyone else. We all have the right to organize with other workers and bargain over our pay and our work.

Seattle City Council: Drivers and passengers deserve rights in the Uber economy. It's time to pass the "Voice for Drivers" legislation.

Who's supporting this bill, and why? Here are some of our voices:

The last time I used Uber or Lyft? December 9. I am disabled, and it's the easiest way for me to go to events in the city.

I support this legislation because equity benefits us all.  The people are working hard and being shorted their fair share of pay. Please close the Uber loophole and hold them accountable to treat their "contractors" as employees and fairly compensate them. Thank you for your consideration.

—Lisa, Eastlake passenger

Uber's business model can't rest on screwing workers, which is becoming increasingly clear is what is happening. Not only is this immoral but it shifts more burden on taxpayers. Allowing drivers to collectively bargain will help ensure Uber focuses on real value for customers and society.

—Demian, Magnolia

Every worker in this country has the right to join a union. Unions negotiate for better pay and working conditions. The only people against unions are the powerful CEOs who are destroying the middle class by forcing wages down so they can keep more money for themselves.

Seattle is a progressive city and should be welcoming unions so we can keep the middle class from crumbling. Livable wages are good for our entire communities as they lift people up.

—Gayle, Broadview

The last time I used Uber or Lyft was 3 weeks ago. It's the most convenient way to go east to west in North Seattle. Buses mainly cater to north-south traffic, with most east-west routes requiring transfers.

I support this legislation because all workers deserve a voice equal to their employer in how their labor will be utilized. Though drivers do have the choice to not drive if they disagree with the policies of these companies, that should not give the companies carte blanche to find ways to avoid paying taxes, to avoid ensuring the quality of their workforce, or to avoid any accountability themselves for what someone driving under their name does. It's a lopsided system, and it's not the way things should be.

—Daniel, Wedgwood passenger

We are making less than the minimum wage. They deactivate our account at any time. No tips, they advertise by saying tips included. No benefit. They monopolize the industry, because the city makes restriction on the number of taxi as well. We as drivers need to have income to lead our lives. The rate is too low to make money, you have to work more than 12 hours to make 100 dollars.

So the city of Seattle council members should understand the burden of these drivers working full time to take care of their family. If you vote yes, we can negotiate and fight for our rights to make a living. Don't help every business to be monopolized and individual drivers fall in low-income housing and get help from the government.

—Kidane, driver

The last time I used Uber or Lyft was when I needed a ride home after a birthday celebration.

I support this legislation because obviously, workers need to be organized into a union.

—Jean, Seattle passenger

The 'gig economy' model of employment is just one more way for corporations to shove the burdens of employment onto working people. I want drivers to be able to organize in order to make their employers (and yes, they are employers) follow fair practices of hiring, setting rates, covering expenses, and setting all the other terms of their employment. Individually, a working person is on the losing end of a power relationship. Every working person needs a union.

—Linda, Belltown

Uber drivers should have the same rights as other workers/drivers. They should not be vulnerable to being taken advantage of because they are different in some ways from other workers/drivers.

—Angela, U-District driver

The last time I took Uber or Lyft was 2 weeks ago, because it was late and the bus wasn't coming for a long time.

All workers deserve to be protected and I know the drivers are hard-working people trying to make ends meet. I've heard their stories because I ask when I'm their passenger, and want them to be protected."


I feel as though what is so vaunted as innovation by these rideshare companies is in fact the steady erosion of the compensation, protections and rights as a worker and as a citizen in a democracy. The fact that they intend to stratify transit next & clog roadways already served by busses tells you more if what you already suspect.

Collective bargaining may immediately aid the union at hand but I consider almost any union's bargaining beneficial to my quality of life. Studies bear this out.

—Chris, Queen Anne Hill

Please encourage unionization of these alternate transportation entities so drivers can earn a livable wage in a very expensive city.

—James, Licton Springs

Even if Uber and Lyft are great companies, their workers should have a right to representation to determine the benefits of work. No employer should be in the position of saying to their workers "Here's what we are offering. Take it or leave it."

Every person's job should pay a living wage. Employers and contracting companies should not get to have a service they won't pay a living wage for. If they want it, they should have to pay for it.

—Jay, Northgate

The last time I used Uber or Lyft was when I was out & my husband had the car.

I support this legislation because I think workers and passengers alike should be protected. A union would allow drivers some agency, since Uber won't recognize them as employees.

—Ashley, Queen Anne passenger

The last time I took an Uber or Lyft was yesterday, because I wanted a safe way to get home after a long day at work.

I want drivers to have a voice on working conditions and make a living wage.


The last time I used Uber was about 3 months ago.

I use Uber to help me get to doctor's appointments that I cannot drive to. Also, I am disabled and my car is old. If I could, I would give up my car altogether. I could then use a service like Uber when buses wouldn't work for me.

I have lived in Seattle my whole life. It is quickly becoming unaffordable. I think we should support higher wages. Seattle is for all of us.


The last time I used Uber or Lyft was so I could get home safely after a night at the Decibel Festival.

I support this legislation because I want to live in a city where all workers have a right to earn a living wage for the labor they provide the businesses they work for.


The last time I used Uber or Lyft was a week ago, because I needed to get home quickly.

I support this legislation because these people need to make a living just like me.


I support unions and right to organize into unions. I am willing to pay regulated taxi fare, not support race-to-the-bottom industries.


The last time I took Uber or Lyft was in April, 2014 because I was working, it was part of the culture to use Uber, and I was with a person who had the app on her phone and we needed a cab.

As more options become available, they need to have an equal playing field. It seems fair that they have this right to organize.


The last time I took Uber or Lyft was 2 months ago, to go to the airport.

I don't want someone who is underpaid driving me trying to hurry to make more money and thus putting my life and theirs, and all those on the roads at risk. The people should have the rights and power, not the corporations. Corporations should work for the people they serve not the other way around. The workers are 'the people.'


The last time I used Uber or Lyft was last Halloween, because we didn't want to drive while intoxicated!

I want the drivers to be able to afford to provide this service. Uber shouldn't just be taking advantage of people trying to exploit themselves by working second jobs and longer hours.


The last time I used Uber or Lyft was 3 months ago, for a ride to the airport.

I am attracted to Seattle because of its leadership on progressive issues and social justice. The 'gig economy' is transforming our economy. Seattle can lead the way, showing that these new jobs provide a fair, living wage. I want to live in a city where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life. These are our hard-working brothers and sisters. Please act to allow collective bargaining rights to these drivers.


The last time I used Uber or Lyft was a few weeks ago, when the bus was unavailable.

It is immoral to allow 'independent contractor' to be a pretext for workers' rights violations."


"The last time I used Uber was in September. I needed a (very early morning) ride to King Street Station to catch my train. Taxis don't seem to be reliable when called to pick up in West Seattle.

I support this legislation because we all know how traffic is in this city. Anyone who takes on driving others around is a brave soul and one that, just like every other person, deserves basic protections from and a voice with the companies that are making money off of their work. Flexibility of shifts and control over one's workday is not an equal trade-off for lack of safety and fair pay, especially as these drivers are the face and substance of a company like Uber or Lyft, or Instacart for that matter.